The Essential Korean Transportation Card of 2022 – T-Money Card
Are you concerned about using Korea’s public transport network? Unsure about how to pay for tickets, what the fares will be, and whether you will have the right change? Well, do not worry. Korea has the perfect solution – the T-Money Card: the essential Korean transportation card! Whether you are a short-term tourist or long-term resident in Korea, this transportation card is a must-have purchase that will make traveling in Korea much more convenient, easier, and cheaper. By using the T-Money Card, you can skip the ticket machines, avoid loose change, and pay a lower fare.
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 (buses and subways) in cities across Korea. 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.
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 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 will save loads of money when you travel with a T-Money Card. Here are the different bus and subway fares. 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.
Where Can I Use The T-Money Card in Korea?
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 prime examples below!
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.
Alternative to buses and metro is biking... Pedal2Power
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 below) 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 will also need to touch a card reader if you are 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 that day. If you run out of credit, you can add some at the subway stations.
3: Use T-Money Card for Taxis
You can use a T-Money Card to pay for taxis in Korea. It is 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. If 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 have been 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.
4: Use T-Money Card for Shopping, Attractions & Other Locations
The T-Money Card is 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. Wherever you see the T-Money logo, you can use your T-Money Card to pay for goods and services. This includes major attractions like theme parks and sports stadiums, as well as other locations like pay-phones and vending machines.
Source: Joel Marrinan from In My Korea (2022)