When you visit South Korea, an essential item to purchase is a Tmoney Card. The primary use of a Tmoney Transportation Card is to travel on public transportation throughout South Korea, with the exception of the Intercity trains and buses. You basically purchase your Tmoney Card, load it with credit and you can then tap on and off local trains and buses throughout South Korea.
In addition, you can also use your Tmoney Korea card as a stored value card which can be used in vending machines, for payment at selected stores and for some taxis. Included stores include most convenience stores, some larger stores and many food and beverage stores.
There are many options to buy your Korean Tmoney Card, which I will detail below. Note that each person needs their own Tmoney card, they cannot be shared.
If you are travelling with children, after you have collected your Tmoney Cards for each person, you can log into the Railplus website to register their card as either a child (ages 6-12 years old) or youth (13-18 years old) card, so that they can get discounted fares. Note that fines for misuse of this feature are very high!
We recommend that upfront you add 10,000 or 20,000 won of credit to each Tmoney card as that is a good amount to get started, and you can then easily top it up at any train station or convenience store as needed. Each time you tap on or off you will see your remaining balance. Do not load more than 20,000 won, as it is more difficult to get a refund. Tmoney Card Refund machines are available at all train stations, so you can easily get your money back before you leave South Korea. Or leave the credit on your card for your next visit to South Korea or to lend to family and friends!
1. Purchase a Tmoney Card at a Convenience Store
You can ask to purchase a Tmoney Card at any convenience store in South Korea. There are convenience stores at all airports, so keep an eye out for them as you move through the terminal.
Convenience stores usually hold their Tmoney Cards behind the counter, so request the attendant to buy a Tmoney Card, they will then show you the design options they have available, and you then select your preferred design. You can also request to add credit to your Tmoney Card. The basic fee to purchase a Tmoney Card is 3,000 won for a plain card. The cost for a Kakao Friends Tmoney Card or other cute options will be 4,000 – 5,000 won.
2. Purchase a Combo Tmoney and Sim Card
A recent clever innovation is to combine a Tmoney Card with a Sim Card. After you pop out your sim card you can use the remaining card as your Tmoney card! The options are detailed below – make sure you check the collection times and ensure they align with your flight. Also ensure that your phone is unlocked.
- Tmoney Card with 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 or 60 Day Unlimited Data Only or Data+Voice Sim Card. This instant confirmation option can be collected from Incheon Airport Terminals 1 or 2, Gimpo Airport or Busan Airport – click on each location to see details of each collection location, including opening hours. Click here to check out and book through Klook.
- Tmoney Card with 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 or 60 Day Unlimited Data Only Sim Card. This instant confirmation option can be collected from Incheon Airport Terminals 1 or 2 or Busan Airport – click on each location and you will see details of each collection location, including opening hours. Click here to check out and book the Incheon Airport or Busan Airport options through Get Your Guide.
- Tmoney Card with 5 Day Data Only Sim Card and 5,000 won of pre-loaded credit. This option can be collected at either Incheon Airport Terminal 1 or 2. Click here to check out and book through Klook.
3. Purchase a Korea Tour Card Tmoney
Klook has a great option to enable you to pre-order a Korea Tour Card, which is an app you can use as a Tmoney Card, only on Android phones. The advantage of purchasing the Korea Tour Card option is that it includes a coupon to add 5,000 Won of credit to your card via their app – you also get a discount of 100 Won for each ride you take on public transport.
Once the app is set up on your Android phone, you can use the NFC function to tap on and off public transport and other payments. Note that you will need to set this app as your default NFT app, which may cause issues if you have other apps using this function.
The Korea Tour Card also enables you to get great discounts of 10-30% on a large selection of tourist attractions, discounts and free gifts at duty-free stores and more.
4. Purchase a WowPass
A Wowpass is a Pre-paid card for currency exchange for cashless payment in Korea, which can also be used as a Tmoney card! You can easily pre-purchase your Wowpass through Klook.
After you receive your confirmation voucher, after you arrive in South Korea, find one of the more than 70 Wowpass Kiosks, select ‘Get a new card’, select your currency and scan your passport, then enter your Klook voucher code. Insert your home currency cash into the machine, and it will then be loaded onto your card with a very competitive exchange rate. You can also set up the mobile app on your phone to track your account balance. After that, you can then tap and use your Wowpass to make payments in Korean won at most stores. You can withdraw any remaining funds as cash before you depart South Korea.
To use the Tmoney function of the card, you will need to separately add credit at either a convenience store or train station, note that you can only add credit using cash.
5. Purchase a Discover Seoul Pass
A Discover Seoul Pass is a 24, 48 or 72-hour pass that enables you to have free access to over 50 major attractions in Seoul and discounted access to over 100 other tourist attractions within the active period. We used the Discover Seoul Pass during our first visit to Seoul and found it was great value. The Discover Seoul Pass is activated the first time you use the pass at an included attraction. Click here to learn more about the Discover Seoul Pass and other Seoul tourist passes.
The Discover Seoul Pass can also be used as a Tmoney Card – you can add credit to the card and start using it straight away, and you can use it anywhere in South Korea. Using the pass as a Tmoney Card does not activate the timed part of the card. Note that the Discover Seoul Pass does include the use of the AREX Fast Train from Incheon Airport into Seoul – using this option will trigger the timed period of your card.
6. Purchase a Visit Busan Pass
A Visit Busan Pass is a 24 or 48-hour pass which enables you to have free access to over 30 major attractions in Busan and discounted access to many other tourist attractions within the active period. We used the Visit Busan Pass during our recent visit to Busan and found it was great value. The Visit Busan Pass is activated the first time you use the pass at an included attraction.
The Visit Busan Pass includes 6,000 won of transportation credit, so you can start using it straight away. You can easily add more credit as required, and use the Tmoney feature anywhere in South Korea. Using the pass as a Tmoney Card does not activate the timed part of the card.
7. Purchase a Custom T Money Card
If you would like to purchase a custom T money Card, there is a great option called a Namane Card. A Namane Card can be customised with your own photos or with their library of images, and are a great option to get a cute T money Card. A Namane card costs 7,000 won upfront with no credit loaded.
You also set up the Namane App, which you can use to check your card balance and load more credit. Namane Kiosks can be found at Seoul Station and Incheon Airport Station and many other locations – click here to see the kiosk locations.
8. Purchase a K-Pop T money Card
You can also purchase Kpop T money Cards from various K-pop merchandise retailers. There are also many other retailers that sell themed T money Cards.
9. Purchase a Tmoney Card at a Train Station (NOT!)
In most train stations in Korea, you will not be able to purchase a Tmoney card. Every station has convenience stores close by instead, just visit the closest convenience store. Major arrival train stations like Incheon Airport do have Tmoney vending machines, so these are also a great option to purchase your Korea transport card on arrival.
FAQS: Tmoney Cards in Korea
Join the South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group
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