South Korea has a variety of transportation cards such as T-money, Railplus, M-PASS (a special transportation card for foreign tourists in Jeju Island), Alipay, T-Money, and Cashbee. Each road and city could also have a different transportation card, and T-money is the most commonly used transportation card among them. When owning a Korea realty, you’ll need a transportation card. You can not only use your credit card to easily take subways, buses, and some taxis in most cities in South Korea, such as Seoul and Jeju Island, but you can also use T-money cards in convenience stores, cafes, bakeries, and restaurant light franchises for payments. In this article, ZIPTOSS has made a guide to using T-money for everyone.
A regular T-money card is priced at 2,500 Won and can be bought at subway stations, convenience stores, street newsstands, and T-money franchised stores. The price of the cartoon-designed T-money is between 3,000-4,000 won, and it is only available in T-money franchised stores and selected brand stores.
The Pendant T-money card has the highest price among all T-money cards, the price is at 5,000-9,000 Won, and it is sold in franchise stores, street newsstands, and small shops.
When using T-money to take the subway and bus, the fare is cheaper than cash payment/ordinary ticket purchases, and you can also enjoy discounts when transferring (between subway and bus, between different routes, valid within 30 minutes), saving transportation costs.
When taking the subway
※Adults: 19 years old and above, teenagers: 13-18 years old, children: 6-12 years old (1 adult can take 3 children under 6 years old for free).
※When taking the subway only: the price is calculated by mileage. If the total travel distance is less than 10km, you only need to pay the basic fare. If it’s more than 10km, you’ll need to pay 100 won for every 5km (80 won for teenagers, 50 won for young children).
※The fare system of the Shinbundang Line is different.
When taking a bus
※Adults: over 19 years old, teenagers: 13-18 years old, children: 6-12 years old. (1 adult can take 3 children under 6 years old for free.)
※ When taking the bus only: there is a flat fee system.
※ When taking a bus in Korea, you need to swipe your card to get on and off the bus, otherwise additional fees may be deducted.
※ If 2 people want to share a card, you need to say “2 people (2명: two names)” to the driver when you get on the bus, and the driver can swipe the card after setting it up. The process is the same for transfers, just tell the driver to “transfer for 2 people”. However, when changing to the subway, one card is required for one person, and two people cannot use the same card.
Discounts when transferring
When changing from the subway to a bus, if you use cash, you will have to pay the fare each time. When using a T-money card to transfer between buses and subways within the metropolitan area (Seoul and Gyeonggi-do), you can enjoy a standard fare system and you do not need to pay a separate fare. For example, if you transfer from the subway to the mainline bus, and the total trip is within the basic cost if you pay in cash, the subway is 1,250 won, and the mainline bus is 1,200 won, so the total cost is 2,450 won; and if you use the T-money card, the mainline bus is 1,200 There is no need to pay separately, and only 1,250 Won for the combined transportation fee. Also, the T-money card discount is applicable to transfers between Incheon Airport buses and taxis.
However, it is reminded that this kind of transfer discount does not apply to transfers between subways, or between buses on the same route.
※ The transfer must be made within 30 minutes after getting off the bus (from 21:00 to 07:00 the next day, the transfer can be made within 60 minutes), and the transfer can be done up to 4 times.
※ When changing to a wide area bus (red bus): If the total journey is less than 30km, only the basic fare is required. After 30km, an additional 100 won (80 won for teenagers and 50 won for children) is required for every additional 5km.
※ When transferring between Incheon Airport Bus and Taxi: 1,000 won discount for the general airport bus, 2,000 won discount for the premium airport limousine bus. (When changing from a taxi to an airport bus, you must change within 1 hour, and when changing from an airport bus to a taxi, you must change within 3 hours).
Types of T-money
National T-money card: It can be used on buses and subways throughout Korea, and can also be used when taking trains and long-distance buses. It can be purchased at convenience stores and subway stations.
The POP card can accumulate points in cooperative convenience stores, supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, etc., and the points can be used when recharging.
If you have the “T” on the T-money card bank logo, you can go to the bank to open the transportation function so you’ll only have one card to use.
Shinhanbank’s transportation integrated card subway taxis are discounted by 7%, GS25 is discounted by 7%, and GS gas stations save 100 won per liter of fuel.
City Pass Plus is a prepaid card that adds tourism and sightseeing functions to the functions of T-money. It can be used in subways and buses in Seoul, and can also be used in public phones, some Internet cafes, and convenience stores. You can enjoy discounts at attractions such as Lotte World and N Seoul Tower, and even gourmet shops with the City Pass Plus card. The purchase price is 3,000 won (5,000 won for mobile phone lanyard type), and it can be used only after pre-charge.
Personalized T-money transportation card: Use your favorite photos to make your own T-money card. It can be ordered on the machine at designated locations such as Hongik University Station on Line 2, Exit 3 of Hongik University Station, Line 6 Digital Media City, Exit 8.9, and T-money Town at Seoul Station. The price is 6,000 won.
How to buy and recharge T-money cards
You can buy T-money cards in three subway stations (the unmanned vending machines on lines 1-4, I-centers on lines 5-8 ), T-money card franchised convenience stores, and street shops.
TIP: After getting off the plane and entering Korea, you can purchase a T-money transportation card at the convenience store at Incheon International Airport or Gimpo International Airport.
There are 2 ways to recharge the T-money card:
- Recharge at the self-service recharge machine in the subway station.
There are four languages on the machine: Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese. Just follow the instructions on the machine screen.
- Recharge at the ATMs of convenience stores (GS25, CU, 7-11, buy the way, mini shop, etc.), street shops, and some banks with the T-money card logo, and only Korean won can be used for recharge.
Give the T-Money transportation card and the Korean Won you want to recharge, and you can use it immediately after recharging.
Other places of use of T-money Convenience Store GS25, CU, Seven-eleven, Storyway etc. Bakery and coffee shop Paris Baguette, Dunkin Donuts, 빚은(Bigeun).
※Except for some franchised stores such as supermarkets, department stores, and rest stops. Starbucks, Caffe Pascucci, Baskin Robbins, JUICY, Gong Cha.
※Except for some franchised stores such as supermarkets, department stores, and rest stops. Angelin-us Coffee, Cafe TIAMO, 빽다방. Supermarkets: GS25 supermarket, Home plus, Home plus express, Red Buket, Hyundai U-PLEX. a fast food shop LOTTERIA, McDonald’s.
※Except for some franchised stores such as supermarkets, department stores, and rest stops. Beauty shops: The Faceshop, Tonymoly, Innisfree, Holika, Amore.
※Except for some franchised stores such as supermarkets, department stores, and rest stops. restaurants: 서가원, 석관동떡볶이, 한스탤리, 오봉도시락, 올떡볶이, 죽이야기, HAKOYA.
※Except for some franchised stores such as supermarkets, department stores, and rest stops. Entertainment venues: EVERLAND RESORT, wyverns baseball club, 늘숲.
※Admission tickets, food, and drink, souvenirs, resorts of Everland
Refund and refund methods
The refund locations for different balances in T-money are different (the balance can be confirmed on the machine at the subway station gate), and it is best to refund before arriving at the airport.
Refund handling fees:
- If your card has a balance below 20,000 won
- Places to get refunds: GS25 & 365PULS
- Handling fee- 500 won
- If your card has a balance below 30,000 won
- Places to get refunds: CU, 7-11 & Mini Stop
- Handling fee- 500 won
- If your card has a balance below 50,000 won
- Places to get a refund: T-Money service centers in subway stations
- Handling fee- 500 won