T-Money Your Way in Korea

T-Money Your Way in Korea

For a journey that's convenient and cost-efficient, get a T-Money for your Korea trip here.

The Rundown

  • T-Money is a prepaid South Korea transportation card that can be used to pay for subway, bus, and cab fares. It can also be used in certain retail stores like Starbucks, GS25, and Dunkin' Donuts.

  • Users of T-Money cards get discounts whenever they take various subway lines in Korea.

  • For convenience (and a discounted rate!), you can purchase your T-Money card online here.

  • T-Money cards can be topped up or recharged via the kiosks found at subway stations or at convenience stores.

  • We’ve listed some customer reviews to help you decide if you want to buy one.

  • If you plan to get a Discover Seoul Pass, you don’t need to purchase T-Money since the pass already works as one.

Also read: Count the Cost: Budget Tips for Your South Korea Trip


LATEST UPDATE: May 14, 2019

You can now book your T-Money card online for convenient pick-up at the Incheon International Airport! If you’re coming from Malaysia, you can now also buy a T-Money card and have it delivered to your Malaysia address prior to your trip! Other online booking options are as follows:

  • T-Money Card (for pick-up at Taoyuan Airport T1 in Taiwan)

  • T-Money Card (For pick-up at Taoyuan Airport T2 in Taiwan)

  • T-Money Card (For pick-up at KL Sentral in Malaysia)

  • T-Money Card (For pick-up at Hong Kong International Airport)

The nice thing about booking your T-Money online is that it’s cheaper and already pre-loaded. Click on the button below to see today’s selling rates:


Why buy a T-Money Card for your Korea trip?

T-Money is a smart way to pay for public transit fares in Korea. It will save you from having to buy single-journey tickets each time you ride the train just like the reloadable beep card in the Philippines, EZ-Link in Singapore, and Oyster in London. The main reason why I got T-Money is because it gives a discount of ₩100 (around ₱5 or $0.09) whenever you ride the bus and subway. I know it's not much, but towards the end of my solo trip I was able to save ₩3,200, which is almost the cost of a tall Iced Americano in Starbucks.

T-Money in Korea can also be used to pay for cab fares as well as purchases in select convenience stores (CVS), vendo machines, Starbucks, and Dunkin' Donuts in South Korea. (See more store listings way below.)

With T-Money, you also get free transfers (bus-to-bus, subway-to-bus, and bus-to-subway), provided that you hop in and out of the next leg within 30 minutes. Beyond this time, you'll be charged for multiple trips.

How can you get a T-Money Card for your Korea trip?

Here are the ways you can get this cost-efficient transportation card:

1. Book T-Money online and pick up at Incheon International Airport

Image credit:  T-Money Facebook page

Image credit: T-Money Facebook page

Eliminate the task of finding, buying, and recharging a T-Money card when you arrive in the airport. When you book this option, you can simply pick up your pre-loaded card at the counter and go straight ahead to your first stop in Korea!

🏷 PRICE of T-Money Card (for pick-up at ICN): only ₱400 or $7.7 (around ₩9,000), if not discounted!

  • Inclusive of one (1) T-Money card and ₩5,000 pre-loaded value

  • T-Money pick-up location and hours: Check-in Counter N (near entrance 14), 3/F Departure Hall, Incheon Airport Terminal 1. Open 6am-8pm daily.

Here are some reviews we found from the T-Money booking page:

‘Fast and easy pick up at Incheon Terminal 1… There was no queue at the counter when we arrived. Convenient when going around by public transportation. Used it on the first day to take the bus to the Seoul Tower. Easy recharge at convenience stores.’

T-Money Card Korea Review

‘This is super convenient. Pick up was quick and it took me to different places in Seoul. Must have!’

T-Money Card Korea Review: Klook

2. Book T-Money online and pick up at the airport before your flight to Korea

T-MONEY

Hong Kong, Taiwan, & Malaysia delivery. Actual product varies.

Image credit: @play.tmoney

If you’re coming from Hong Kong, Malaysia, or Taiwan, you can easily book a T-Money card for pick-up at KL Sentral or Taoyuan International Airport. Malaysian customers also have the option to have their T-Money card for Korea delivered to their local mailing address!

🏷 PRICE of T-Money Card (for pick-up in Hong Kong & Taiwan or delivery in Malaysia): only ₱400 or $7.7 (around ₩9,000), if not discounted!

  • Pick-up location and hours:

    • For Hong Kong airport: A13, Arrival Hall, Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1. Open 7am-11pm daily.

    • For Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 (Taiwan): Wi-Ho!® counter, Boarding Hall, 3F in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1, No.15, Hangzhan S Rd, Dayuan District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan 337. Open 6:30am-9:30pm daily.

    • For Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 2 (Taiwan): Wi-Ho!® counter, Departure Hall, 3F in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 2, Taoyuan, Taoyuan District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan. Open 6:30am-9:30pm daily.

    • For KL City Air Terminal: KL Sentral Klook Booth at Kiosk 4, Arrival Hall, KL City Air Terminal. Open 10am-8pm daily.

  • Delivery information: For Malaysian customers, your T-Money card will be mailed to your address by registered post within three (3) business days. Deliveries are not available during weekends and holidays

Here is a review that we got from the booking page of this convenient T-Money booking option:

I ordered Malaysia delivery for the T-money card because there's no pick up counter at Busan... delivery only took 2-3 days after ordering…The card has a pretty picture…compared to the classic T-money card (plain blue colour).

Aside from a T-Money card, you may also want to consider booking the following:

👉 Private Airport Transfers for Incheon to Seoul
👉 Gangchon Rail Bike
👉 Nanta Show Seoul

How to top up or recharge T-Money

When your T-Money balance is running low, you can easily top up using the ‘Transportation Card’ reloading machines found in subways and the airport’s transportation center. To load, simply place your T-Money card on the sensor (it's the middle box below the screen), choose English as your preferred language, and the machine will display the top-up amount options available. Insert your cash (or coins), and you'll be all set to ride the next train.

Reloading my T-Money card in Korea via top-up stations found inside the subway.

Reloading my T-Money card in Korea via top-up stations found inside the subway.

Of course, you can also go to a nearby convenience store and request the cashier to reload your T-Money card.

How much should I load my T-Money card in Korea?

To help you with your budgeting, here are the public transportation fares in Korea:

1. Airport Railroad Train Fares

If you’re not planning to get a T-Money card, you can just pre-book your airport express train tickets  here .

If you’re not planning to get a T-Money card, you can just pre-book your airport express train tickets here.

If you’ll enter Korea through Incheon International Airport and will make your way to Seoul Station by train, expect to pay the following:

  • Incheon to Seoul Station (and vice-versa) via KTX or Airport Express Train:

    • KTX is the train option for you if you want a faster and premium ride to Seoul Station.

    • Adult Ticket Price: ₩9,000 (around ₱410 or $7.9)

    • Children Ticket Price: ₩7,000 (around ₱320 or $6.1)

  • Incheon to Seoul Station (and vice-versa) via the All-Stop train:

    • All-Stop is the train option for you if you want to pay less to go to Seoul Station.

    • If boarding from Terminal 1: ₩4,150 (around ₱190 or $3.6)

    • If boarding from Terminal 2: ₩4,750 (around ₱216 or $4.2)

If you’ll go farther than Seoul Station, i.e. Myeongdong Station or Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, you’ll have to load an additional amount of at least ₩1,250 (around ₱57 or $1.1) on top of your KTX or All-Stop Train Fare since you’ll be switching lines.

Also read: Incheon to Seoul: Your Bus, Cab, & Train Options

2. Subway Fares in Seoul

If you’ll mostly use the subway in Seoul to get to different points in the city, i.e. Myeongdong, Gangnam, or Itaewon, here are the subway basic fares for T-Money card users (already discounted):

  • Adults [19 years and above]: ₩1,250 (around ₱57 or $1.1) per trip

  • Teens [13-18 years old]: ₩720 (around ₱33 or $0.6) per trip

  • Children [7-2 years old]: ₩450 (around ₱20.5 or $0.4) per trip

  • Children [6 and below]: FREE

The basic fare covers a travel distance of 10 km or less. An additional ₩100 (around ₱5 or $0.09) is charged for every 5 km traveled within a distance of 10-50 km, and ₩100 for every 8 km traveled with a distance of over 50 km.

3. Subway Fares in Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, & Gwangju

Use your T-Money in Busan to get to Gamcheon Culture Village!

Use your T-Money in Busan to get to Gamcheon Culture Village!

When you’re in Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, or Gwangju, you can also use your T-Money to access their respective subway lines. Here are the discounted rates for T-Money Card users:

  • Busan Subway Fare (Section 1)

    • Section 1 rates cover a travel distance of up to 10.5 km only.

    • Adults: ₩1,300 (around ₱60 or $1.1) per trip

    • Teens: ₩1,050 (around ₱48 or $0.9) per trip

    • Children: ₩650 (around ₱30 or $0.6) per trip

  • Busan Subway Fare (Section 2)

    • Section 2 rates apply for those traveling a travel distance of more than to 10.5 km.

    • Adults: ₩1,500 (around ₱69 or $1.3) per trip

    • Teens: ₩1,200 (around ₱54 or $1.05) per trip

    • Children: ₩750 (around ₱34 or $0.7) per trip

  • Daejeon Subway Fare (Section 1)

    • Section 1 rates cover a travel distance of up to 10 km only.

    • Adults: ₩1,250 (around ₱57 or $1.1) per trip

    • Teens: ₩880 (around ₱40 or $0.8) per trip

    • Children: ₩550 (around ₱25 or $0.5) per trip

  • Daejeon Subway Fare (Section 2)

    • Section 2 rates apply for those traveling a travel distance of more than to 10 km.

    • Adults: ₩1,350 (around ₱62 or $1.2) per trip

    • Teens: ₩960 (around ₱44 or $0.84) per trip

    • Children: ₩600 (around ₱27 or $0.53) per trip

  • Daegu Subway Fare

    • Adults: ₩1,250 (around ₱57 or $1.1) per trip

    • Teens: ₩850 (around ₱39 or $0.7) per trip

    • Children: ₩400 (around ₱18 or $0.35) per trip

  • Gwangju Subway Fare

    • Adults: ₩1,250 (around ₱57 or $1.1) per trip

    • Teens: ₩900 (around ₱41 or $0.8) per trip

    • Children: ₩500 (around ₱23 or $0.44) per trip

Do note that T-Money cannot be used to pay for your inter-city train transfers, i.e. Seoul to Busan or Daegu to Daejeon. T-Money can only be used to pay for the subway lines within each city.

Also read: Korail Pass: Enjoy Nonstop Trips in South Korea

4. Bus Fares in Seoul, South Korea

If you’ll be taking a bus to explore the capital, here are the fares for reference:

  • Blue Bus Seoul Ticket Price

    • Adults: ₩1,250 (around ₱56 or $1.09) per trip

    • Teens: ₩720 (around ₱33 or $0.6) per trip

    • Children: ₩450 (around ₱20.5 or $0.4) per trip

  • Green Bus Seoul Ticket Price

    • Adults: ₩1,250 (around ₱56 or $1.09) per trip

    • Teens: ₩720 (around ₱33 or $0.6) per trip

    • Children: ₩450 (around ₱20.5 or $0.4) per trip

  • Yellow Bus Seoul Ticket Price: ₩1,100 (around ₱50 or $0.9)

    • Adults: ₩1,100 (around ₱50 or $0.9) per trip

    • Teens: ₩560 (around ₱26 or $0.5) per trip

    • Children: ₩350 (around ₱16 or $0.3) per trip

  • Red Bus Seoul Ticket Price

    • Adults: ₩2,300 (around ₱105 or $2) per trip

    • Teens: ₩1,360 (around ₱25 or $0.5) per trip

    • Children: ₩1,200 (around ₱54 or $1.05) per trip

  • Night Bus Seoul Ticket Price

    • Adults: ₩2,150 (around ₱98 or $1.9) per trip

    • Teens: ₩1,360 (around ₱62 or $1.2) per trip

    • Children: ₩1,200 (around ₱54 or $1.05) per trip

In case you’re wondering, buses in Seoul are color-coded and offer the following services:

  • Blue Buses run on major highways in Seoul.

  • Green Buses travel shorter distances and stops at subway stations.

  • Red Buses are express buses that travel from Seoul to suburban areas.

  • Yellow buses operate on a closed circuit within a district of Seoul. 

If you’re unsure which bus to take, you can always refer to Google Maps.

5. Taxi Fares in Seoul, South Korea

Standard Taxi in Seoul. Image credit:  Korea Tourism Organization

Standard Taxi in Seoul. Image credit: Korea Tourism Organization

Here are some fare information for taxis in Seoul:

  • Standard Taxi

    • This is your average cab. Usually orange or silver. It's the cheapest option, but there is a 20% surcharge that applies for late-night trips (12mn to 4am).

    • Base fare starts at ₩2-800-3,800 (around ₱128-180 or $2.5-3.4)

  • Deluxe Taxi

    • If you want to have more legroom, go for the deluxe. It usually comes in black with a yellow sign on top. No late-night surcharge applies.

    • Base fare starts at ₩3,200-5,500 depending on vehicle (around ₱160-268 or $2.9-5.1)

  • Jumbo Taxi

    • This type is ideal for large groups (6-10 people). Card payment is available. There is no applicable late-night surcharge.

    • Base fare also starts at ₩3,200-5,500 depending on vehicle (around ₱160-268 or $2.9-5.1)

For standard cabs, a surcharge of 20% applies during late-night hours (12mn to 4am) and/or when you're headed somewhere outside the city (30% applies if traveling out of Busan).

For deluxe or jumbo cabs, no surcharges are applicable.

How to Use T-Money in the Subway, Bus, and Taxi

Turnstiles at a Seoul metro subway station.

Turnstiles at a Seoul metro subway station.

When riding the bus, place your T-Money card on the sensor until you hear it beep. You'll then see the charged amount as well as the remaining balance of your card.  Before getting off, make sure to tap your T-Money card on the sensor by the rear doors to get the discount or free transfer.

The process is basically the same when using the T-Money in the metro subway, except you'd have to tap your card on the sensor found at the turnstiles.

If you plan to use your Korea T-Money card in a taxi, inform the driver that you want to pay with it before getting in. If their vehicle is equipped with the function, you can then tap your T-Money on the sensor, which is usually located between the two front seats. If your balance isn't enough to cover the expense, you can pay for the amount you're short using cash.

Getting a refund for your T-Money card balance after your trip

If you have a remaining balance of ₩20,000 or less in your T-Money card, you can go to a partner CVS and get a refund instantyl. The amount that you will get back will be your balance less the service fee (around ₩500).

If you have more than ₩20,000 left in your T-Money and want a refund, you'd have to drop by T-Money's headquarters. 


TIPS!

  • If you're availing a Discover Seoul Pass, you don't have to buy a separate T-Money card since it already functions as one!

  • Still need convincing for you to buy a T-Money card online? You can get more discounts if you make your purchase with a Klook promo code. See the list of available codes here.

  • The free transfer within the 30-minute timeframe is only applicable if you actually transfer. If you're hopping into the same numbered bus or re-entering the same subway station even within 30 minutes, you'll still be charged.

  • Tap, tap, tap. Don't forget to tap your card on the sensor when you get off the bus. If you don't, you will not be able to get the transfer discount.

  • T-Money cards don't expire. Hence, you can use it the next time you go to South Korea.

  • If you’re looking to get discounts on attractions like National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Everland, and Lotte World, you may purchase the Korea Tour Card. This can be bought at the card vending machines that are installed in Seoul’s subway stations and the Transportation Center of Incheon International Airport.

  • Our friends from Patar TV shared with us a video on how they used TMoney to save some bucks in their trip. Watch their hilarious video here!

  • Here is the T-Money Korea product description from Klook:

    • Make your South Korea trip hassle free with convenient cashless payments using the Klook T-Money Card! This integrated transportation card is one of the most versatile stored value electronic cards that can be used not only in public transportations, but also in various convenience stores and vending machines throughout South Korea.

    • Pick up your Klook T-Money Card from any of the pick-up locations upon your arrival and enjoy a pre-loaded value of ₩5,000 that comes along with the purchase. Don’t worry if you end up having unused balance in the card, the Klook T-Money Card is valid permanently and any maintaining balance can be stored for 5 years.

    • Have the perfect souvenir from South Korea with this exclusive Klook design Money Card decorated with iconic South Korean emblems.


FAQ on T-Money Korea

1. What are other buying options for T-Money Korea?

T-Money cards in Korea are also sold in convenience stores that have the T-Money logo. You can go to a GS25, CU, 7-Eleven, Ministop, Story Way, or Buy The Way. One time when I arrived in the airport, I went to the first CVS I saw and tried purchasing my T-Money Card from there. I bought it for ₩4,000 (around ₱200 or $3.7) and requested for an initial top-up of ₩15,000 (around ₱730 or $14), which covered for my all-stop train ticket and subway metro fares for the first three days of my Korea trip.

You can also purchase a T-Money card from ticket vending machines found in the subway stations or airport transportation centers (Terminal 1 or 2). The vending machines or kiosks operate in English and are very easy to use. 

However, given the discounts and pre-loaded value, I highly encourage you to book your T-Money online here to get it cheaper.

2. Where Can I Use T-Money in Korea?

You can use your T-Money card in the following subway lines, retail stores, and restaurants:

A. Use T-Money for the following trains and subway Lines in Korea:

  • Seoul & Gyeonggi

    • Airport Railroad (to go from Incheon to Seoul and vice-versa)

    • Lines 1-9

    • Shinbundang Line

    • U Line

    • Suin Line

    • Gyeongchun Line

    • Gyeongui-Jungang Line

    • Jungang Line

    • Bundang Line

    • Yongin Ever Line

    • Ui Sinseol Line

    • Bundang Line and more!

  • Incheon (Lines 1-2)

  • Daejeon (Line 1)

  • Daegu (Line 1)

  • Gwangju (Line 1)

  • Busan (Lines 1-4)

B. Use T-Money for the following buses in Korea:

  • Seoul & Gyeonggi

  • Incheon

  • Daejeon

  • Daegu

  • Ulsan

  • Gwangju

  • Busan

  • Sejong

  • Gangwon

  • Chungbuk

  • Chungnam

  • Gyeongbu

  • Gyeongnam

  • Jeonbuk

  • Jeonnam

  • Jeju


C. T-Money for Retail & Convenience Stores in Korea

7-Eleven & CU in Korea.

7-Eleven & CU in Korea.

  • Use T-Money in the following convenience Stores in Korea:

    • 7-Eleven

    • CU

    • GS25

    • Ministop

    • 365 Plus

    • StoryWay

    • IGA Mart

    • C Space

    • With Me

    • Best All

  • Use T-Money in the following shops in Korea:

    • Home Plus

    • lalavla

    • Hyundai U-Plex

    • GS Supermarket

    • Home Plus Express

    • Red Bucket

  • Use T-Money in the following bakeries in Korea:

    • Paris Baguette

    • Dunkin’ Donuts

  • Use T-Money in the following cafes in Korea:

    • Starbucks

    • Caffe Pascucci

    • Baskin Robbins

    • Jamba Juice

    • Angel in us Coffee

    • Caffe TIAMO

    • Gong Cha

  • Use T-Money in the following restaurants/fastfood outlets in Korea:

    • Lotteria

    • McDonalds

  • Use T-Money in the following cosmetic shops in Korea:

    • Holika Holika

    • The Face Shop

    • TONYMOLY

    • Innisfree

  • Use TMoney in the following entertainment outlets in Korea:

    • Everland Resort

    • Wyverns Baseball Club

3. Can you use T-Money in Busan or Jeju, South Korea?

Yes! Apart from Seoul, you can also use your T-Money in Busan. Other places where you can use T-Money include Gyeonggi-do, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon, and Gwangju.

4. What are alternative options for T-Money? What other cards work like T-Money?

Aside from T Money, you can also consider getting other e-money or stored-value transportation cards, such as Cashbee and Korea Railplus Transport Card. From what I read, both cards function the same way as T Money, however they're not as popular as T-Money among locals and tourists alike.

If you're purchasing the Cashbee card in Korea, note that, as of writing time, it cannot be used in Daejeon (Line 1) and these bus routes/areas: 

  • Daejeon

  • Gyeongbuk (Andong)

  • Gyeongnam (Geoje, Tongyeong, Hadong, Hapcheon, Hamyang, Geochang, Changnyeong, Goseong, Sancheong, Namhae)

If you're renting a car, you can use Korea Railplus Transport card to pay for parking.

5. How can I recharge T-Money in Korea? How do you use T-Money?

T-Money cards in Korea are stored-value cards (prepaid transportation card). To use T-Money, you must top up any amount from ₩1,000-90,000 at any TMoney reloading or recharging stations found at the subway station. Once done, you can use it to pay for your transportation fares.

6. Do T-Money cards expire?

No, they don’t! When you purchase one on your first trip, you can use the same card on your succeeding visits. It makes for a good souvenir, too!

7. Is it true that T-Money cards have other designs and forms like keychain, necklace, etc.?

Aside from the standard card type, T-Money comes in other designs and forms too! Image credit:  Tmoney Facebook Page

Aside from the standard card type, T-Money comes in other designs and forms too! Image credit: Tmoney Facebook Page

Yep! Once in a while, the company behind T-Money blesses us with special edition T-Money cards, such as Kakao Friends, Pokemon, and BTS. To see T-Money cards with exclusive benefits, read more on the official website here.

Oh, for locals, there are also T-Money that come in the form of keychains, phone accessories, bag tags, and more!

Also read: Get Your Hands on the BTS Discover Seoul Pass Now

Enjoy your trip!

For more updates on T-Money in Korea and other travel tips, like ManilaxSeoul on Facebook and Instagram!

UPDATE: Company Alpha List No Longer Required Beginning July 1, 2018

UPDATE: Company Alpha List No Longer Required Beginning July 1, 2018

Stay Connected in Korea: SIM Card by KT Olleh

Stay Connected in Korea: SIM Card by KT Olleh