In South Korea, travelers can buy a Single Journey Ticket or a rechargeable card called T-money Card. We advise you to get a T-money Card as it is a magic wand that will make your journey super convenient!

These cards can be used not only for all the buses, subway, and taxis but also as a method of payment at affiliated stores.


1. Where to Buy Your T-money Card

Photo Credit: newsis.com

You can easily purchase the basic T-money Card at retail convenience stores, such as CU, GS25, Ministop, and 7-Eleven. The card itself costs KRW 2,500. There is a variety of T-money cards with cute designs of Kakao Friends, BT21, and many more. These special T-money cards can cost extra money.  

2. How to Reload or Refund Your T-Money Card

There are 3 ways to recharge your T-money Card.

1) Use a ticket vending machine that is located inside all the subway stations and train stations.

Photo Credit: VisitKorea Official Website
  • Select your preferred language on the screen (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese).
  • Click the third button with the T-money logo on the far right and touch the “Reloading the transit car” button.
  • Place your card on the loading pad and then select the amount of money you want to add.
  • Insert coin or cash and wait briefly while your T-money card completes reloading.
  • Confirm your T-money card’s balance.

2) Newstands near a bus stop with a display of the T-money sign. You can find them usually next to the subway station exits and entrances.

3) Head over to retail convenience stores. This is the easiest way to recharge your card!

Tip: Some Student IDs offer the T-money card service, but may not be recharged at convenience stores. Therefore, find the closest subway station to reload your card.

Refunds: You can get a refund at all retail locations, however, the card price and service fee of KRW 500 are nonrefundable. Also, the refund process of more than KRW 50,000 can be complicated so it is suggested to charge your T-money card in smaller amounts than KRW 50,000.

3. How to use T-Money Card

First, you should keep in mind that you must tap your card when boarding and getting off buses or entering and exiting subway stations. Transfer discounts are available, but they are limited to four times a day, within a transfer time limit of 30 minutes (up to 1 hour from 9pm to 7am the next day). If you are transferring to the bus with the same numbers or re-entering the same subway station after exiting, the transfer discounts won’t be applied even if you are transferring within 30 minutes.

1) Bus: When you get on the bus, place the card on the sensor. It will tell you how much money has been charged and remained. If an error occurs, give it a second or two, and try again. If this continues, the bus driver will let you know what the issue is. When you exit the bus, tap the sensor one more time to get a discount on the transfer. If you don’t tap your card before getting off the bus, you won’t be able to get the benefit of a transfer discount. You can enjoy 4 discount transfers in a day.

Photo Credit: Business Korea
  • Tip: Make sure you tap your card again and you hear a beep. If you don’t, you will be charged extra for the distance traveled.

2) Subway: When you enter the subway station, place the card on the sensor until it beeps. It will show the amount charged on the top and the remaining balance at the bottom. If you are transferring, you won’t be charged and the amount that appears on the sensor will be zero. Tap your card again upon arriving at your destination and then you will be able to exit the gate. If an error occurs, press the red “help” button and the staff will come and help you.

Photo Credit: inews24.com

3) Taxi: Not all but some taxis do accept T-money as a form of payment. Look out for the signs of the “T money” logo on the taxi and inform the driver that you want to pay with a T-money card. Please be aware that you should have enough balance on your T-money card in advance to pay the full fare.

Photo Credit: News Wire

When you arrive at your destination, simply tap your card on the sensor and the screen above the gray box (see picture below) will let you know your remaining balance.

Photo Credit: Korea Smart Card

4. T-Money Cards Only for Foreigners 

1) Unlimited Data SIM Card (5~60 Days) + T-money CardIf you need a SIM card along with T-money, get this data only SIM card & T-money combo to stay connected 24/7! You can conveniently pick it up at Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1. You can still use the T-money card even after your SIM card expires. Click here to get 17% OFF on Trazy!

2) Discover Seoul Pass: With this all-in-one pass, you can explore the tourist attractions in Seoul with special discounts! You can gain free admissions to 57 major tourist destinations and take the advantage of the 67 discounted attraction sites from performances to duty-free shops. The pass duration options are 24, 48, and 72 hours. You can pick it up at Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 & 2, Gimpo Int’l Airport, and Myeongdong Tourist Information Center. T-money card function is optional. Click here to get 10% OFF on Trazy!

3) Korea Tour Card: With this card, you can enjoy various discount benefits of shopping, F&B, culture, tour, and entertainment, such as ski resorts, aquariums, theme parks, and many more! It costs KRW 4,000 (cash only) and you can buy it at convenience stores. Check out more information here.

Photo Credit: T-money Official Website

4) AmazingPay T-money: With this card, you can get a 10% discount when taking an airport limousine! There are also discount benefits for various tourist attractions, F&B, and cultural performances, including Lotte World, Everland, Nanta, and many more. It costs KRW 50,000 (credit KRW 46,000 + card fee KRW 4,000) and it’s cash only as well. You can buy it at the airport bus ticket office (No. 4 & 9 gates at 1F Incheon Airport Passenger Terminal) or CU Incheon International Airport branch. Check out more information here.

Photo Credit: T-money Official Website

5) Alipay T-money: This is a T-money card for Alipay users, the payment app used by most Chinese people. Alipay T-money can be purchased only on the Alipay app. It’s KRW 23,500 (credit KRW 20,000 + card fee KRW 3,500). The price in Yuan is subject to change according to the daily exchange rate. It can be used for shopping at retail brands, including convenience stores, marts, bakeries, cafes, theme parks, cosmetic shops, and many more. Check out more information here.

Photo Credit: T-money Official Website

If you’re looking for a train pass that travels throughout all regions of Korea, we recommend you a KR Pass or an Express Bus! Also, don’t forget to read the blogs below to learn more about the transportation system in Korea for your hassle-free trip.


Don’t forget to visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for more tips and advice about new locations and things to do in Korea!

[Photo Credit]

  • Newsis.com (https://newsis.com/ar_detail/view.html?ar_id=NISX20160502_0014058544&cID=10401&pID=10400)
  • Business Korea (https://trazy.com/things-to-do/korea?ch=0004&label=tmoney card guide&link_id=14786)
  • inews24.com (http://www.inews24.com/view/738044)
  • News Wire (https://www.newswire.co.kr/newsRead.php?no=306729)
  • VisitKorea Official Website
  • Korea Smart Card 
  • T-money Official Website

53 thoughts on “Survival Tips for Travelers to Seoul: T-money Card

  1. Hi, thank you for your informative post! I have a question though, it is possible to recharge the T-money in Busan? I have read somewhere that you can use the T-money in Busan but not able to recharge it there.

  2. Hi, I was wondering because we are travelling to Busan first before heading to Seoul. Would we still be able to get a T-money card or do we need to purchase another card instead in Busan?

    1. Hello jbeano! If you are going to travel both Seoul and Busan, we recommend you to purchase T-money card as you can use the card in both cities. Hope this answers your question! 🙂

    1. Hi memee manaol! Credit card option is not available for tourists. Please be noted that it’s available only for very limited credit cards which are issued in Korea. Instead, you can recharge T-money card at any subway stations and convenience store with T-money sign with cash.

  3. HI AGAIN TRAZY IM PANNING TO GET AN EG SIM CARD BUT NOT SURE WHICH ONE TO GET. MAY I ASK THAT IF I GET THE UNLIMITED ALL DATA WILL I BE ABLE TO USE VIBER ON THAT SIM. BECAUSE ALL DATA SIM CARD DOESNT ALLOW CALLS INCOMING OR OUTGOING. I WANT TO KNOW HOW IT IS WITH VIBER? THANKS AGAIN

  4. HI AGAIN TRAZY IM PANNING TO GET AN EG SIM CARD BUT NOT SURE WHICH ONE TO GET. MAY I ASK THAT IF I GET THE UNLIMITED ALL DATA WILL I BE ABLE TO USE VIBER ON THAT SIM. BECAUSE ALL DATA SIM CARD DOESNT ALLOW CALLS INCOMING OR OUTGOING. I WANT TO KNOW HOW IT IS WITH VIBER? THANKS AGAIN

  5. Hi, I am traveling to Busan first, before going to Jeju & Seoul.
    Is it possible to buy T-money card in Busan? Where can I buy it in Busan?
    According to some references I found, there are Hanaro Card & MyBi Card available in Busan.

  6. Hi, I am traveling to Busan first, before going to Jeju & Seoul.
    Is it possible to buy T-money card in Busan? Where can I buy it in Busan?
    According to some references I found, there are Hanaro Card & MyBi Card available in Busan.

    1. Hello Lilik! Sorry for the belated reply. Yes, it’s possible to buy T-money card in Busan at convenience store chains like GS25, CU and Seven Eleven, or from ticket vending and card recharging devices inside subway stations as well. We highly recommend T-money Card because you can use it in both cities, Busan and Seoul, where as the usage of Hanaro Card and MyBi Card is limited to Busan and its neighboring cities. Hope this info helps! 🙂

  7. Hello! May i check if the T-money card price is still 2500won and is it possible to top-up ~10,000won for the first time or is there an fixed amount? Thanks!!

    1. Hello JyKel! Yes, the basic T-money Card costs 2,500 KRW and there is no fixed amount when you charge for the first time. You can top up any amount from 1,000 KRW to 90,000 KRW at a time and up to 500,000KRW in one day. Hope this answers your question! 🙂

  8. Hello! May i check if the T-money card price is still 2500won and is it possible to top-up ~10,000won for the first time or is there an fixed amount? Thanks!!

    1. Hello JyKel! Yes, the basic T-money Card costs 2,500 KRW and there is no fixed amount when you charge for the first time. You can top up any amount from 1,000 KRW to 90,000 KRW at a time and up to 500,000KRW in one day. Hope this answers your question! 🙂

  9. Hi Trazy,
    I would like to recharge my T-money card with credit card. You mentioned that it is possible to do that in convenience stores. Do all stores accept that? 7-11, GS25, CU?
    Could you teach me how to request for credit card topup in Korean? Would be really helpful!

    1. Hi Kinlet 🙂
      Unfortunately, the credit card option is available only for those who have a specific credit card (Pop-new Woori V Card), which is issued in one of the banks in Korea. If you are planning to visit T-money card during your trip in Korea, please top up the balance at any convenience store/subway stations in cash. Recharging is available at any convenience store that has the T-money sign at the entrance.

    1. Hi Garry 🙂
      If you are a traveler, credit card option is not available. Please recharge your T-money card at subway stations or at a convenience store with cash.
      If you have a credit card issued from Woori Bank (one of the banks in Korea), you can top up at Woori bank ATMs or at GS convenience store.

  10. hi trazy, i am travelling from seoul to busan. i have purchased from your guys the Seoul Discovery Pass which also acts as a T-Money Card. As i understand from your replies above, the T-money option is available in Busan for top up and usage in Metro and Buses. How about using the T-money for purchases at shops? Also how about refunds? if i have balance money, how do i get a refund?

    1. Hi Bob Yu,
      Unfortunately, we do not provide booking service for the Discover Seoul Pass at the moment. T-money purchase is available depending on the shop. We highly recommend you to check the details directly with each shop 🙂

  11. My family of 4 is traveling in Korea next week. Can we all use the same T-money card and scan it 4 times to ride the subway, or do we each need a card? Can we purchase it with U.S. dollars, or do we need to convert to KRW first? Thanks.

    1. Hi Janel 🙂
      Unlike public buses, each person must have their own T-money card to use the subway. T-money card can easily be purchased at retail convenience stores such as CU, GS25 and 7-Eleven. The card itself costs from 2,500~4,000 KRW (USD not available) depending on the design.

  12. Hi. does my son (below 2 years old) need to have t-money card to use the subway too? or he can travel using the subway for free?

    1. Hi Dye,
      Children under 6 years old are free of charge (up to 3 children). Your son may use the subway for free in Seoul.

  13. Hi,
    Can i use the T-money card to take intercity bus from Busan to Gyeongju and local buses in Gyeongju? Thank you.

    1. Hi May,
      It is not possible to purchase intercity bus tickets with T-money card but you can use it for local buses in Gyeongju.

  14. Hi Trazy. I have two tmoney cards, one is empty and the other has some cash. Can I pass the money from one to another?

  15. Hi, I live in Muju and want to try using it on the buses (they use Cashbee but I know its interchangeable). Do I need to tap on AND off? I have seen people who use Cashbee only tap on and NOT off.
    I’m just confused, I don’t want to be charged twice.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ayunda! We are sorry for the late reply. If you aren’t transferring to another bus or metro, you don’t need to tag the card when you get off from the bus.

  16. Hi Trazy!
    Do you happne to know where to get the tmoney cards from gimhae airport? I’ve read online that it is pretty difficult to get it there a few years back. So I’m wondering if its more common now. Look forward to your reply!

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