Want to know where to buy a T-Money Card in Korea? Unfamiliar with how to use the T-Money Card and what the main advantages of it are? Not sure about how to pay for transportation tickets, what the fares will be, and whether you’ll have the right change? This guide to the best Korean transportation card will solve all your problems.
The T-Money Card will make travelling around Korea an absolute breeze, freeing up your mind to worry about more important things, such as which street food to try next, which palace to explore, and which Korean phrase you want to try out next.
Whether you’re a short-term tourist or long term resident in Korea, this transportation card is definitely a must-have purchase that’ll make travelling in Korea much more convenient, easier, and cheaper. By using the T-Money Card, you can skip the ticket machines, avoid loose change, and even pay a lower fare.
If you want to know more about where to buy the T-Money Card, why you definitely need one, and how to use the T-Money Card, as well as hear about some of my tips to get the most out of the card, keep on reading.
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What Is The Korean T-Money Card?
The Korean T-Money Card is a prepaid transportation card that can be used to pay for public transportation in cities across Korea, including buses and subways. It provides cash-less travel around Korean cities, as well as offering discounts in many places.
The T-Money Card can also be used to pay for a range of other items and services, including taxi charges, items in convenience stores, entrance fees for attractions, vending machines, and food and beverages in restaurants. Anywhere you see the T-Money logo (above), you can use the T-Money Card.
T-Money Card Quick Summary
Purpose: electronic payment system that allows people to avoid using cash
Uses: transportation, shopping, entrance fees for attractions across Korea
Cost: 2,500 KRW (Korean Won) for the card (special designs may be more expensive)
Valid: all over Korea
T-Money is the Korean equivalent of other transportation cards, such as the Oyster Card (London), Octopus Card (Hong Kong), or SUICA (Japan), but is more flexible than any of those as it has a wider range of uses. If you plan to visit Korea for a week, or stay for a lifetime, getting a T-Money Card is a must.
Why Do I Need A T-Money Card In Korea?
One of the best features of the T-Money Card is that you don’t need to use cash to buy tickets when travelling, or when paying for small items in convenience stores and other locations. Another feature of the T-Money Card is that is you will pay less when you travel in Korea.
There are two rates to travel in Korea’s subways and buses – one for cash and one for transportation cards like the T-Money Card. The rate for the T-Money Card is the lower one, meaning you’ll save loads of money when you travel with a T-Money Card. Here are the different bus and subway fares:
- Regular Fare: 1,350 KRW
- T-Money Fare: 1,250 KRW
If you plan to travel in Seoul and other Korean cities, you will need to go to a ticket machine to buy a ticket (subway) or have the exact change (buses) to travel. With a T-Money Card, you can simply walk in and touch the card to the scanner for hassle-free travel.
When you use the T-Money Card, you pay less for subway and bus fares. It literally pays for itself.
Buying a T-Money Card was one of the very first things I did when I arrived in Korea. I encourage you to buy one as soon as you arrive. It’s really convenient and indispensable for travelling in Korea.
There are other benefits and features of the Korean T-Money Card which make it an essential purchase. I’ll introduce those, and other information, in the rest of this article.
Where Can I Use The T-Money Card In Korea?
As mentioned, you can use the T-Money Card for a range of public transportation options throughout Korea, as well as for shopping, sightseeing, and more. Here are some of the ways you can use T-Money.
1: Use T-Money Card For Buses
You can use the T-Money Card to pay for buses in Seoul and other cities in Korea. Touch the card on the card reader by the driver when you enter. Touch another card reader as you leave the bus. This card reader will tell you the fare, as well as how much money you have left.
On most buses, you enter through the front door and leave via the middle door further inside the bus. If there is no middle door, use the card reader at the front of the bus and leave via the front door.
The picture above is an example of a T-Money Card reader on a bus in Seoul.
Tip: You can get a transfer discount when you transfer from one bus to another within 30 minutes (1 hour after 9:00 pm), so be sure to touch out when you leave the bus.
Please Note: You can’t walk onto Intercity buses and pay with T-Money, you should buy a ticket from the vending machine at bus terminals. You’ll be able to pay for this ticket using your T-Money Card.
2: Use T-Money Card For Subway
The T-Money Card is the easiest way to use the subway system in Seoul and other cities. Simply walk up to the subway turnstile and touch the large raised card reader (pictured above) to enter the subway. This will display the cost of the ride, as well as your current balance.
When you exit the subway, touch the card reader again to leave the station. You’ll also need to touch a card reader if you’re transferring between two unconnected subway stations. In this case, the charge may appear as zero. Be sure to top up the card if you plan to use the subway a lot in that day. If you run out of credit, you can add some at the subway stations.
Below is a list of cities in Korea where you can use the T-Money Card to ride the subway:
- Seoul & Gyeonggi-do
Tip: If you run out of credit on your T-Money Card while using the subway, there are recharging machines on both sides of the ticket gates. Make sure you have some spare cash to top up the card.
Please note: The T-Money Card can’t be used everywhere in Korea. Some cities, such as Sokcho, don’t accept the T-Money Card. You can use an alternative payment card in these cities, such as Cash Bee. Generally, the T-Money Card is accepted in most tourist destinations.
3: Use T-Money Card For Taxis
You can use a T-Money Card to pay for taxis in Korea. It’s quick, easy, and allows you to avoid using a credit card or having the right change. This is certainly a much more convenient option when travelling.
As long as the taxi driver has the T-Money logo displayed, as most taxi drivers in Korea will do, you can pass your T-Money Card to the driver who will touch it to the card reader and complete the payment. If in doubt, check with the driver by showing your T-Money Card when you get in.
Since I arrived in Korea, I’ve got used to taking taxis more often. Taxis in Korea are much cheaper than in places like Europe, USA, or Japan. You can even call them directly to you using the Kakao Taxi app, which is available on Android and iPhone and can be used in English, Korean, and Chinese.
Find out how to use T-Money to pay for taxis in my guide about How To Use Kakao Taxi.
Tip: Be sure to have enough money on the card, otherwise you won’t be able to pay! An average taxi ride for 10-15 minutes usually costs less than 10,000 KRW or $9. Make sure the taxi driver turns on the meter so they can’t overcharge you.
4: Use T-Money Card For Shopping
The T-Money Card is really useful when you want to buy small items, such as a bottle of water, coffee, or some snacks. When you see the T-Money logo, you can use the card to pay for goods and services.
You can use T-Money to pay for purchases in convenience stores. The main convenience store brands in Korea are:
- Emart 24
You can use the T-Money Card in Korea’s supermarkets and chain stores, including:
- Home Plus
- Face Shop
- Tony Moly
- and lots more…
Food and beverage outlets across Korea accept the T-Money Card. This makes it easy to buy a quick lunch or grab a coffee on the go. Places that accept T-Money include:
- Angel-in-Us Coffee
- Ediya Coffee
- Gong Cha Tea
- Paris Baguette
- and lots more…
Tip: I would only recommend using the T-Money Card for small purchases, otherwise you’ll be forever reloading it.
5: Use T-Money Card For Attractions & Other Locations
Wherever you see the T-Money logo, you can use your T-Money Card to pay for goods and services. This includes at major attractions like theme parks and sports stadiums, as well as other locations like pay-phones and vending machines. Here are some of the locations you can use T-Money:
- Vending Machines (even up in the mountains)
- Public Pay-Phones
- Everland Theme Park
- Sports Stadiums (including Wyverns Baseball Club)
- Festivals (for food and drinks)
- and lots more…
Tip: If in doubt, try using your T-Money Card when paying for things. There’s a good chance it’ll work and save you the trouble of collecting change when paying in cash.
How Much Does The T-Money Card Cost?
The price of the T-Money Card is 2,500 KRW (about $2.00) for the standard T-Money Card that is sold at public transportation stations across Korea. This does not include any credit and you will need to add funds to the card before you can use it.
You can buy Prepaid T-Money Cards online through vendors such as KK Day. These can be around the same price as the regular card, but also come with options to add 5,000 KRW credit pre-loaded on the card (or app if using the mobile version). This can be a useful way to start using your T-Money Card immediately.
The T-Money Card costs 2,500 KRW. You might pay more for special editions.
There are a range of different designs and cards that include the T-Money function. These cards typically retail for 4,000 KRW and also don’t come with any credit. The extra change is for the artwork. These cards work in the same way as regular T-Money Cards, but can make nice gifts or souvenirs. T-Money Cards don’t expire, so you can reuse them when you visit Korea again.
The T-Money Card function is also available in the tourist-only Korea Tour Card and Discover Seoul Pass. There’s more information about those later on in this article.
How Much Money Should I Add To A T-Money Card?
When deciding how much money to add to your T-Money Card, it is useful to think about what you will use the card for. The amount to add to your T-Money Card depends on where you will use it and how often.
If you plan to use the T-Money Card mainly for transportation, then you should add about 5,000 to 10,000 KRW per day to cover travel costs. A single bus or subway journey will cost 1,250 KRW. 4 journeys would cost 5,000 KRW and 8 journeys would cost 10,000 KRW.
If you plan to use the T-Money Card for shopping and small purchases in convenience stores then it is recommended to add more money to the card based on your expected daily use. Adding money to a T-Money Card to pay for small items is a good way to avoid small change while you travel. About 10,000 to 20,000 KRW per day should cover small expenses like this.
For travellers in Korea, a good initial amount to add to a T-Money Card is 50,000 KRW. This should cover about a week’s worth of public transportation. If you run out of money on the card, you can add more at recharge points across the country. Any remaining balance can be refunded at the end of your journey.
How To Buy The T-Money Card
There are many places you can buy a T-Money Card in Korea, including at the airport, transportation centres, and convenience stores.
Here is a list of all the available places to buy the T-Money Card and how to buy one.
Where To Buy T-Money Cards At Incheon Airport
Incheon Airport is the arrival destination for most international travellers and one of the best places to get a T-Money Card. You can buy a T-Money Card at Incheon Airport from vending machines at the main transportation centre on the basement level (B1) of Terminal 1 as well as at other train and subway stations at Incheon Airport, including the subway that connects Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
You can also buy T-Money Cards at Incheon Airport from convenience stores, including branches of 7-11, GS25, and CU. You will need to top up the card after you’ve bought it. If you purchase a T-Money Card with a special design at a convenience store at Incheon Airport, you may pay a higher price.
Please note: As of August 2022, the price of a T-Money Card in vending machines at Incheon Airport is 4,000 KRW. This includes the character designs shown in the picture above. The basic T-Money Card should cost 2,500 KRW and if you want to pay the lower price, you can get a card from a convenience store instead of at these vending machines.
The picture below shows where to get a T-Money Card at Incheon Airport railway link. You can get the T-Money Card from outside the Airport Railroad All-Stop Train Station, which is opposite the Airport Express Train Station.
Incheon Airport is very tourist-friendly and has services in a number of major languages, including English, Chinese, and Japanese. This includes the T-Money Card vending machines. To buy a T-Money Card at a vending machine, select the language you want to use and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll need to top up the card with cash before you can use it.
Once you’ve added credit, you can use the T-Money Card straight away to help you get from Incheon Airport to Seoul and into your hotel – whether that’s by subway, bus, or taxi.
Pre-Ordering T-Money Cards To Collect At Incheon Airport
If you’ve pre-ordered a T-Money Card through an online booking site such as KK Day, you can collect your card at Incheon Airport from their pick-up desks. The collection points for online tour providers that sell T-Money Cards for collection at Incheon Airport will have their own specific areas.
For people who have pre-booked a T-Money Card from KK Day for collection at Incheon Airport, the collection points are as follows:
Incheon Airport Terminal 1: Counter 44, between gates 8 & 9 on the 1st floor of the Arrivals Hall
Incheon Airport Terminal 2: Counter 19, between gates 4 & 5 on the 2nd floor of the Arrivals Hall.
Please note: If you reserve a T-Money Card with KK Day or other providers, you should specify which date you will arrive. You will receive a voucher or QR code for the T-Money Card. Show that to the staff at the collection desks to get your T-Money Card.
Travellers who want to Pre-Order Sim Cards or Rent WiFi Eggs for mobile internet can collect these at the same time. There are also desks run by phone companies that offer free T-Money Cards when you sign up for a sim card, as shown in the picture above.
Tip: If you need to withdraw cash at an ATM in Incheon Airport to buy a T-Money Card but you’re worried about paying fees and getting a bad exchange rate, I recommend looking into a Wise multi-currency travel card before travelling to Korea. It’ll allow you to withdraw cash fee-free.
Planning to fly to Korea soon? Check out my guide to flying to Korea for tips about how to find the cheapest flights to Korea, when to book for the best prices, and what airlines you can fly with.
Subway & Train Stations
You can buy a T-Money Card at any subway station in Seoul and throughout Korea. As you can see from the picture above, which was taken at Incheon Airport’s subway station, you can use the T-Money Card to get from Incheon Airport to Seoul on the all-stop train (not the Airport Express).
You’ll find two different machines in subway stations – one for tickets and one that sells T-Money Cards. When you first buy a T-Money Card at a subway or train station, you’ll need to go to the machine selling them. You can go to any ticket machine to reload the card.
Update: Seoul Subway Stations May Stop Selling T-MOney Cards
T-Money vending machines in several subway stations in Seoul have closed from September 15th, 2022. The machines have a message to purchase them from nearby convenience stores or to use the QR code on the vending machine to download the mobile version of the T-Money Card instead.
This could be a big problem for travellers as they would need a Korean sim card or portable WiFi router to use the T-Money Card in Seoul and across Korea. It seems that the physical cards will still be sold in convenience stores and other locations, but may be harder to come by at subway stations.
Hopefully the T-Money Card vending machines will still be open at Incheon Airport. The machines may be closed temporarily, but it didn’t seem to be the case with the Korean translation of the sign saying:
Service End Date: September 15, 2022
In recent years, Korea has moved away from cards and pushed for the adoption of app-based programs instead. Supermarket and store loyalty cards have closed down and been replaced with apps and it appears that the T-Money Card may go the same way.
Please note: This may change in the future. I will continue to check as I travel around Seoul.
Personalised T-Money Cards At Subway Stations
If you want a unique T-Money Card as a souvenir from your trip to Korea, you can create your own personalised T-Money Card. You can buy personalised T-Money Cards from Hongik University Subway Station and Digital Media City Subway Station.
You can take a photo using the vending machine, or choose another image by connecting your phone to the machine. Connect your phone via a QR code on the vending machine and then upload the image. It could be your picture, your favourite idol, a scenic shot of Seoul, or whatever you like. Whichever picture you choose will be printed on the personalised T-Money Card.
The cost of a personalised T-Money Card is 6,000 Korean won. You can buy the personalised T-Money Card with cash or credit card. It’s a bit more expensive than the regular T-Money Card as it’s personalised, but has all the regular features of the standard card.
Once you’ve purchased the card, don’t forget to add credit from a nearby recharge station.
Sept 2022 Update: Although the T-Money vending machines in Seoul’s subway stations seem to have closed down now, these personalised T-Money card machines still seem to be in operation. However, it is not clear as yet whether these will also be closed down.
Namane Card At Seoul Station
You can also create your own transportation card, called a Namane Card, which features many of the benefits of the T-Money Card. This uses the Rail+ System from Korail instead of T-Money, a different transportation card service.
As you can see from the picture below, it will allow you to pay for bus and subway cards (with the same discount as the T-Money Card), and also as a payment card in convenience stores and similar places.
You’ll need to download the Namane Card App to be able to use this machine. You can use the free WiFi in Seoul Station if you don’t have a Korean sim card or WiFi egg.
Sept 2022 Update: Although the T-Money vending machines in Seoul’s subway stations seem to have closed down now, these personalised T-Money card machines still seem to be in operation. However, it is not clear as yet whether these will also be closed down, too.
Major convenience store chains (7-Eleven, GS25, CU, Emart 24, etc.) sell T-Money Cards, including branches at Incheon Airport. If you want to buy a T-Money Card on arrival, this is another good option. These cards are available at the counter and often come in a range of interesting designs.
With the closure of the T-Money vending machines at Seoul’s subway stations, convenience stores are the best option to buy a T-Money Card in Seoul if you didn’t purchase one from Incheon Airport.
Please Note: You’ll pay a higher price for a card with a design. When you buy the card at a convenience store, you can also add credit to the card. This can only be done with cash.
Stationery Stores & Other Shops
A growing number of shops also sell T-Money Cards and might include their own designs. Stationery stores such as Artbox – one of the most popular stationery and gift shops in Korea – feature T-Money Cards with their own designs. They might also include characters such as those from popular messenging apps like Kakao or Line.
Please Note: When you buy the card at a stationery store, you might not be able to add credit to the card, it will depend on the store.
How Can I Recharge The T-Money Card?
The T-Money Card can be recharged (reloaded) at subway stations and convenience stores throughout Korea. Vending machines at subway stations are the easiest locations to recharge a T-Money Card and will also allow you to check your balance.
These machines can be found in each major city in Korea where you can use T-Money. They are available in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese. These T-Money recharging machines only accept cash and the T-Money Card can’t be reloaded with a credit card.
You can only top-up the T-Money Card with cash. Credit cards aren’t accepted for top-ups.
Besides subway stations, you can also recharge T-Money Cards at convenience stores. The same rule about only charging with cash applies. You can’t recharge a T-Money Card with a credit or debit card.
There is a dedicated T-Money office at Seoul Station where you can ask for advice, purchase & reload the card, and get your remaining balance refunded when you leave Korea.
T-Money Headquarters Address: 1st Floor. T-money Town, Seoul City Tower Building, Namdaemun-ro 5-Ga, Jung-gu, Seoul.
Recharging A T-Money Card With A Credit Card
While it’s not possible to recharge the standard T-Money Card with a debit or credit card, it is possible to recharge the app version of the Korea Tour Card with a debit or credit card.
The Korea Tour Card is the tourist version of the T-Money Card that costs 4,000 KRW and comes with a few additional benefits. The differences between these two cards is discussed later on.
How To Your Check T-Money Card Balance
There are a number of ways to check your T-Money Card balance. When you use the T-Money Card on the subway or a bus, the electronic card reader will show you the fee for the ride and the remaining balance on your T-Money Card. This is the most common way to check your balance.
You can also check your T-Money Card balance at subway ticket machines and T-Money recharge stations. When you recharge your card, it will show your balance before you add credit. This is a good way to check your balance, even if you don’t intend to recharge the T-Money Card right then.
Finally, you can check your remaining T-Money Card balance with a mobile app and a phone with a built-in NFC reader. There are a number of T-Money Card balance check apps, such as ones for Android devices and for Apple devices.
Use the NFC function of your phone to scan the T-Money Card and check the remaining balance. This is a convenient way to check your balance when travelling in Korea.
How To Refund T-Money Card Balance
When you leave Korea, you have the option to refund the remaining T-Money balance. Refunds for T-Money Cards can be issued by vending machines at subway stations or at convenience stores across Korea.
Refunds will be paid in cash and you must refund the whole balance on the card. Once the refund has been issued, you will get to keep the T-Money Card and can top it up again later. There is a 500 KRW fee for refunding the balance on the card. Partial refunds aren’t possible and the cost of the card is not refunded.
The T-Money Card doesn’t expire. Keep it for future trips or give it to a friend who is visiting later.
Refunds can only be issued when the remaining balance is below 20,000 KRW. If the balance is above 20,000 KRW, you can only get a refund from the T-Money Headquarters at Seoul Station.
T-Money Headquarters Address: 1st Floor. T-money Town, Seoul City Tower Building, Namdaemun-ro 5-Ga, Jung-gu, Seoul.
Please Note: The T-Money Card doesn’t expire. However, credit balances will expire after 5 years if not used or recharged. You can use the T-Money Card at the airport to buy last minute snacks and souvenirs or save the remaining balance for your next trip to Korea.
Alternative Types Of T-Money Card
There are many options for buying the T-Money Card when visiting Korea and the T-Money functions can be found in other electronic payment cards. These alternatives include tourist-only cards such as the Korea Tour Card and the Discover Seoul Pass, which aren’t available to residents in Korea.
Here’s a brief overview of the alternatives to the T-Money Card. There are linked articles that provide more in-depth details about the features and benefits of the Korea Tour Card and Discover Seoul Pass which should help you decide which is right for you.
Korea Tour Card With T-Money Card
The Korea Tour Card was designed for tourists travelling to Korea and provides not only with the standard T-Money functions, but also offers lots of discounts and other perks. Therefore, the Korea Tour Card is essentially a T-Money Card with added benefits.
The Korea Tour Card costs 4,000 KRW and offers discounts for a variety of things. You can get discounts for attractions, shopping, services, restaurants, cafes, hanbok rental, river cruises, and more. The full list is available on the Korea Tour Card website.
Here are some of the places you can use the Korea Tour Card to get discounts:
- Everland & Caribbean Bay
- COEX Aquarium
- Korean Folk Village
- Petite France
- Gwangmyeong Cave
- Goseong Unification Observatory
- Sea Life Busan
- Alive Museum
- Dynamic Maze
- And lots more…
Tip: I’d recommend the Korea Tour Card as you get additional discounts. However, if you’re not likely to use these discounts, stick with a regular T-Money Card.
You can top up and recharge the Korea Tour Card in exactly the same way as a T-Money Card, as well as with a credit or debit card if you use the mobile app version of the Korea Tour Card.
Discover Seoul Pass With T-Money Card
The Discover Seoul Pass is a premium pass that will give you free or discounted entry to a wide range of attractions in Seoul. It also includes a free ride on the Airport Express from Incheon Airport and has all the features of the T-Money Card. It’s an all-in-one discount card for tourists.
The Discover Seoul Pass is available with 24 / 48 / 72 hour time limits. However, the T-Money function of this card doesn’t expire and you can use it without activating the time limit for the premium pass functions.
The Discover Seoul Pass includes T-Money, provides 1-way travel from Incheon Airport to Seoul, and free-entry to loads of attractions.
The Discover Seoul Pass is more expensive than a regular T-Money Card. The price of the Discover Seoul Pass starts at 39,900 KRW (24 hour pass). However, you can save a lot of money as you can gain free or discounted entrance to a number of Seoul’s top premium attractions and tours, including:
- Lotte World Adventure
- COEX Aquarium
- Royal Palaces
- N Seoul Tower
- Han River Cruise
- Dynamic Maze & Alive Museum
- Nanta Cookin’ Musical
- And lots more…
Buy the Discover Seoul Pass from Klook for a discounted price of 35,900 KRW and you’ll save even more money. There are suggested 1 / 2 / 3 day itineraries for the Discover Seoul Pass in my Discover Seoul Pass Guide that shows how you can save more than 50,000 KRW per day with this card.
Tip: If you plan to visit premium attractions like those included above, the Discover Seoul Pass is definitely worth the cost. Families will especially benefit as a lot of the premium attractions in Seoul are child-friendly. The free ride on the Airport Express can save you almost 10,000 KRW per person, too.
If this type of travel pass is something you’re interested in, you might also want to look at my Klook Pass Seoul Review where I compare Klook’s own travel pass with the Discover Seoul Pass.
AmazingPay (For Incheon Airport Limo Services)
The AmazingPay T-Money Card gives you discounted travel on the airport limousine buses from Incheon Airport. The airport limo buses are a great way to get from Incheon Airport to Seoul as they drop you in dozens of locations across the city.
The AmazingPay T-Money Card saves you 10% on all airport limo bus tickets from the airport. You can also get discounts at dozens of restaurants, shops, and attractions. It has regular T-Money features, too.
The AmazingPay T-Money Card costs 50,000 KRW and comes with 46,000 KRW in credit on the card. You can buy the AmazingPay T-Money Card at the Airport Bus Ticket Office (No. 4 & 9 Gates at 1F in Incheon International Airport Passenger Terminal) and CU Incheon International Airport branch.
For full details, visit the T-Money Website.
Should I Get A T-Money Card In Korea?
So, if you’ve read all this and you’re still not sure if you should get a T-Money Card, here is a simple summary to show why you might want to get one.
T-Money Card Advantages:
- Saves time when travelling as no need to queue for tickets
- Reduces the need to carry cash
- Makes travelling a lot more convenient
- Can be used across Korea
- The T-Money Card doesn’t expire (balance expires after 5 years)
- A variety of interesting card designs
T-Money Card Disadvantages:
- Need to recharge the card (but you can do that where you use it)
- Can’t use a credit card to recharge
Honestly, I can’t think of any other disadvantages. The T-Money Card is really useful and I can’t imagine travelling in Korea without one. I’d recommend buying one as soon as you arrive in Korea. If you want to know more about T-Money and its alternatives, as well as other general travel tips for Korea, you can find lots of useful information in this Korea travel guide.
Tips For Using T-Money
Here are a few quick tips to help you use the T-Money Card more effectively when you’re travelling or living in Korea:
1: Check the remaining balance as you travel so that you don’t run out by accident.
2: Don’t top up too much (there is a refund limit of 20,000 won). I’d recommend adding 20,000 – 30,000 KRW each time. Maybe less if you don’t plan to travel much.
3: Buy one as soon as you arrive.
4: Make use of the T-Money Card when you are shopping in convenience stores. You’ll end up with a lot less change.
Travel Advice For Visiting Korea
If you’re planning to visit Korea in the future, then planning when to visit Korea is the best place to start. Spring offers you Beautiful Cherry Blossoms and nature-based festivals, while autumn offers stunning fall foliage sights throughout October. Summer in Korea is hot and humid, but there are lots of sandy beaches to explore and Korean summer activities to enjoy. Winter is cold and dry, but offers the chance to see snow across Korea, including in Seoul’s palaces and famous landmarks.
Once you’ve decided when to visit, knowing where to go and where to stay will be your next challenge. There are many awesome Budget Hotels In Myeongdong, Seoul, so if you want to travel on a budget, but in comfort, that’s a great place to get started. Hongdae is also a great place to stay in Seoul for first time travellers and those who want to see Seoul’s youth culture and entertainment area. Here are some Great Hotels In Hongdae for you to experience the capital’s culture. Make sure you’ve got a T-Money Card wherever you stay to ride around on buses and subways.
If you plan to get out of Seoul, which you really should, the good news is that you can use the T-Money Card in many other cities, including Busan and Jeju Island. Korea is rich in history and culture, and there are many Unique Korean Attractions And Activities to enjoy wherever you are. Try to see more than just cities, with a trip to a Korean Buddhist temple in one of the many national parks, a day out at a Korean beach, or even a day Hiking In Korea’s Many Mountains.
Try the many Delicious Korean Traditional Foods, visit a Korean sauna or spa, sing your heart out at a Korean noraebang (singing room), experience a day dressed up in Korean hanbok clothes strolling around traditional Korean hanok houses, and practice using a bit of Korean to make a great impression on the locals. If you don’t know any Korean, try to learn at least a few Basic Korean Phrases – they’ll go a long way to helping you get the most out of your Korean journey.
Korean Travel Essentials
Planning to visit Korea? These travel essentials will help you plan your trip, get the best deals, and save you time and money on your Korean adventure.
Korea Electronic Travel Authorisation (K-ETA): Most countries need a K-ETA to travel to Korea. Apply before you travel only with the Official K-ETA Site.
Flights To Korea: Look around before you book flights. I recommend flight comparison sites such as Expedia and Skyscanner for the best flights to Korea.
Hotels In Korea: Staying in Seoul, I recommend Myeongdong (convenient), Hongdae (cool culture) or Gangnam (shopping). Get the best hotel prices with Klook and Agoda.
Tours In Korea: Find the best tours in Korea with tour companies that have a big presence in Korea, including Klook, Trazy, and Get Your Guide.
Staying Connected: Pre-order a Korean Sim Card or a Portable WiFi Router to collect on-arrival at Incheon Airport. Collection desks are open 24 hours.
Travel Money: Exchange foreign currency in Myeongdong or at a WOW exchange machine. Pick up a Wise or Revolut travel money card for the best rates and convenient card payments.
Transportation: Get a T-Money Card to pay for public transport. If you plan to use Korea’s high speed trains, save money and get unlimited rides with a Korea Rail Pass.
Incheon Airport To Seoul: Take the Airport Express (AREX) to Seoul Station or a limo bus to other parts of Seoul. Don’t want to carry heavy suitcases? Book an Incheon Airport Private Transfer and relax to or from the airport.
Learning Korean: Want to learn Korean before you travel? I recommend 90 Day Korean as they have well-structured lessons and loads of useful resources.
FAQs About The Korean T-Money Card
Finally, here’s a few FAQs about the Korean T-Money Card, in case the above information didn’t cover enough for you.
Where can I use the T-Money Card?
The T-Money Card can be used on public transportation in Korea, including for subway and bus journeys. Furthermore, the T-Money Card can be used to make purchases in convenience stores, cafes, shops, at vending machines, and in a range of attractions.
Can I use a T-Money Card on the subway?
Yes, you can use the T-Money Card on the subway in several cities in Korea, including Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon, and Incheon.
Can I use a T-Money Card to pay for taxis?
The T-Money Card can be used to pay for taxis where the T-Money logo is displayed. Be sure to check the card has the correct balance remaining to cover the taxi fare before using a taxi.
What happens if I run out of credit when using the T-Money Card?
If you run out of money on your T-Money Card when using the subway, you can top-up at a payment machine inside the subway stations before you enter or exit the station. When travelling on buses, you won’t be able to use the T-Money Card on the bus if there isn’t enough credit available.
Can I use the T-Money Card outside of Seoul?
Yes, the T-Money Card can be used across Korea, not just in Seoul. It can be used for public transportation in all major cities, as well as on Jeju Island. The T-Money Card can also be used for purchases in convenience stores, shops, cafes, restaurants, and attractions where the T-Money logo is displayed.
How much does the T-Money Card cost?
The base cost of the T-Money Card is 2,500 Korean won. This doesn’t include credit, which must be purchased separately. The cost of the card is non-refundable, but outstanding balances on the card can be refunded.
Can I pay for the T-Money Card with a credit card?
You can purchase the original T-Money Card with a credit card, but you won’t be able to add credit or reload the T-Money Card with a credit card. Only cash is accepted for T-Money Card recharging.
Does the T-Money Card expire?
No, the T-Money Card doesn’t expire and can be used on multiple trips to Korea. However, credit balances on the card will expire after 5 years if not used.
Which cities can you use the T-Money Card in?
You can use the T-Money card to ride the subway in Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province, Incheon, Daejeon, Daegu, Busan, and Gwangju. You can also use the T-Money card on bus networks across Korea, including all major cities. The T-Money can also be used for intercity buses. However, unlike city buses, it is necessary to buy tickets for these buses before you ride.
Where can you buy a T-Money Card at Incheon Airport?
You can buy the T-Money Card from multiple locations at terminals 1 and 2 of Incheon Airport. There is a transportation centre on Basement 1 level of Terminal 1 that sells T-Money Cards in a vending machine. You can also buy T-Money Cards at Incheon Airport from convenience stores, such as 7-11, GS25, and CU. You will need to have cash to purchase and top up these cards.
Where can I create a personalised T-Money Card?
You can create your own T-Money Card with your own photos on the card at certain subway and train stations in Seoul. These include Seoul Station, Hongik University Subway Station, and Digital Media City Subway Station. Upload photos from your phone or take a photo in front of the machine. Once you’ve chosen your design, the card will be printed and will be ready to use once you’ve topped it up. You can top up the personalised T-Money Card at nearby top-up machines at Seoul Station or subway stations across Seoul.
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10 thoughts on “T-Money Card Korea 2023: Where To Buy T-Money | How To Use”
Quick question… For the Korean T-Card, is there ability to get a transaction history (or Ride History) of where I tapped my card?
For example, my Los Angeles Tap Card for my and kids use for Buses and Trains, I register the TAP Card… If I need to know Ride History, I can go the TAP card website and obtain “Ride History.”
I’ve not actually tried it, but you might be able to see the history if you use the T-Money app with the mobile version of the card.
I had a look on the T-Money site (which is very basic), but couldn’t see any details about it. I guess just try it and see is the best answer I can give, sorry. I use the card function myself but never see the history of it.
Great article. Plan on trip starting at Incheon Airport Apr 2023. Can both myself and my wife use the same card at the same time. ie. we get on and off a bus together. Like scan twice or will we each need a separate card? Thanks-Mark.
Hi, thanks for reading. You will need a separate card for each person travelling. On some buses you can ask to charge for two people, but that won’t work on the subway, so it’ll be easier to get one each.
Thanks for the info. Will get two cards, myself and wife. If people were traveling as a family, such as with children, using a “Family Card” of some type would be much easier. Thanks again. -Mark.
It would be much easier, yeah, I hope they consider it in the future.
Hi! I really appreciate the detailed information you’ve included about T-money!
I have some questions. I’m a foreigner and I’ll be teaching English soon. I’m already in South Korea (I arrived beginning of March).
I didn’t manage to get a T-money card at the airport as I had to quickly be picked up. I’m aware that I can purchase one at a convenience store near me.
As I have just arrived, there are things I don’t have yet, such as:
1) My ARC (Alien Registration Card)
2) Korean bank card – I have my home debit bank card (Mastercard). I also have cash in ₩ on me.
3) Korean SIM plan
Will any of this affect me buying and topping up my T-money card?
Thank you in advance!
Hi, welcome to Korea. None of those things will stop you getting a T-Money card or topping it up. However, if you’re going to sign up for a Korean bank card, you can ask to have the ‘pay-on’ feature in your bank card so it will work just like a T-Money card. Therefore, you won’t need to get a T-Money card once you have your bank account. People here don’t really use T-Money cards when they can use their bank cards.
Hi, thank you for this article.
I just got a T-Money card from a Korean store here in India. It’s the BTS PROOF edition T-Money card. Sitting in India, I was wondering how I could recharge it right away?
I am visiting Korea next month. 🙂
Hi, thanks for reading.
You can recharge the T-Money card as soon as you arrive in Korea at the airport. Either recharge it at the travel centre at Incheon Airport, or go to any convenience store and ask them to add credit to it.
You can only top up with cash, so you’ll need some Korean won to do that.
Have a good trip.