busan subway korea

Korean Public Transportation And Tmoney Cards Guide

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When you first arrive in Seoul, there are certain things that will make your transition into a
new city smooth sailing or leave you wanting to abandon ship.

Admittedly transport is not the most exciting part of planning a trip, alongside where to find
the best restaurants, clubs and shopping districts, but sometimes the simple things like
knowing how to get about a city safely and affordably, can be a major factor in whether
you sink or sail in your new adventures.

Luckily Korea not only has a great public transportation system but also a well-developed
payment service to go with it, known as transportation cards (Tmoney cards).
Tmoney cards can provide discounts, hassle-free travel and if your lucky even a sense of
belonging; having an Oyster card made me feel like a Londoner, and having a Tmoney
card makes me feel like a Seoulite.

Hopefully, my own experience and information found scrolling through the Korean tourism
website, can provide you with enough information on the perks of investing in a Tmoney
card and help you find one most suitable for your needs.

tmoney card
Tmoney card, photo by: Jompak Anfone

This pass is better known as a Tmoney & Cashbee Card (2,500 Won).
It can be purchased from
• inside subway stations (within the Seoul metropolitan area) and
• in convenience stores.

Customized cards are also available.

This rechargeable transportation card is available to all citizens and international visitors.
It can be used for traveling via;
• subway
• bus journeys and
• in any taxis with the Tmoney and Cashbee logo (most in Seoul)

Instead of purchasing multiple single tickets, carrying loose change or bundles of notes for
your transport needs. You can simply tap your Tmoney card, on your way in and out of the subway, on and off the bus, or once on the terminal’s provided in taxi’s.

subway vending machine
Subway Vending Machine, photo by: ROVEN CO., LTD.

Tmoney Transport Benefits

On the subway, a Tmoney card can save you 100 won on each trip, as well as receiving discount when transferring to a different line or onto a bus.

korean subway lockers
Subway Lockers, photo by: Jompak Anfone

You can also access Subway lockers provided in many of the subway stations throughout
Seoul.

Basic Storage time: 2-4 hours

Small, Medium and Large lockers range from 2,000 to 4,000 Won.

korean bus tmoney card
Inside Korean Bus, photo by: Jompak Anfone

On the bus, passengers can get a transfer discount of 100 won when changing to the subway system or another bus line.

Keep in mind there is a transfer limit of 30 mins, or 1 hour between 21:00 – 07:00.

korean convenience store
Convenience store, photo by: Jompak Anfone

Convenience Store Benefits

Not only can you use the card for the majority of your traveling and storage needs.
Tmoney cards can be used to purchase items at any affiliated convenience stores too, this
includes;
• GS25
• CU
• 7- Eleven
• Buy the way
• 365 plus
• mini stop
In Seoul, you can hardly walk 100 yards without seeing one of the above.

Tmoney cardholders can also buy goods from member franchises and affiliated shopping
centers. Discount benefits are available at various cultural and tourist facilities too.

Tmoney Reload and Refunds

Remember to keep your card topped up, you can recharge your card up to 500,000 Won.
Ideally it’s best to reload your card in small amounts, as any money not spent can be
refunded and anything over 50,000 can be complicated and time comsuming.
Refunds can be provided at specified franchises and small fees can apply.
The cards price and 500 won service fee are not refundable.

korean topup machine
Top-up Machine, photo by: Jompak Anfone

Tmoney cards don’t expire so even when you return to Seoul you can bring your old card
with you and recharge it.

Alternative Tmoney Tourist Cards

If you’re traveling outside of Seoul you may want to purchase a Korea Tour Card (4,000
won). This card provides access to transport as well as transfer benefits anywhere in
Korea.
Discount benefits at;
• select shops
• restaurants
• performances
• The National Museum of Korea
• Everland
• Lotte World

If you’re visiting Korea for a short period or have family and friends coming to visit, you
may want to invest in Exclusive tourist cards.

korea tour card
Korea Tour Card, photo by: Korea Smart Card Co., Ltd.

Tourist Cards

Mpass (15,000 – 64,500 Won)

For those traveling in the Seoul metropolitan area and Jeju.

Offers 20 rides a day. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7-day passes are available.
It can be used as a Tmoney card, but it can’t be used to pay for taxis and may not be
accepted at convenience stores.

Amazing Pay Tmoney Card (50,000 won)

A Tmoney card, with 10% discount off most bus routes that connect Seoul and Incheon.
A coupon book will be issued with the card.
Discount benefits for restaurants and cultural performances.
Major attractions include;
• Lotte World and
• 63 Square.

Discover Seoul Pass

A Tmoney card with free admission pass to major tourist attractions.
Ranging from 24-hours to 72-hours.
Discount benefits for
• cultural performances
• duty-free shops

There is also a Discover Seoul Pass app, which includes 24-hours use of the Seoul city’s
public bicycles, a one-way ride on the Airport Express Train from Incheon to Seoul, and
one free ride on a Seoul City Tour. Find out how best to use the 24-hour Discover Seoul pass with our guide here.

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