T-Money in Korea is a smart card or device that is rechargeable. The T-Money card was implemented in July 2004 to ease the traffic flow at ticket gates in Seoul and other cities. T Money can be used to pay transportation fees or even make purchases in stores.
Benefits of T-Money:
The T-Money system offers a 100 won discount off the basic cash fare of the subway system and buses. Mornings and evenings can be hectic in Seoul when using the subway system and with T money it just got a little easier. There is no need to queue up to buy tickets. T Money can be used in most convenience stores to purchase items and even in some book shops. More and more stores are using the T-money system. T money can also be used on public payphones and on vending machines.
Types of T money:
At first T Money came in card form, the same size as a credit card. This option is still available but a whole range of alternatives are available. You can find T-Money phones straps in the shapes of animals. Watches, rings and even MP3 players with T-money Chips are available. Some banks have ATM cards with the T Money chip. Visit this page to get find out how to get an ATM with T money chip.
Price of T money:
The basic T-money card can be bought for 3,000 won at train stations, most convenience stores and kiosks. Included in the price is a 500 won deposit that you will get back if you wish to return the card. If you wish to buy a T-Money phone strap prices start from 5,000 won.
How to use T- Money Korea:
T- Money is a touch chip system. When entering the ticket gates at the subway just swipe or touch your card off the T-money sensor. Your card can be in your bag or wallet as the sensor is very sensitive. The sensor is a square box with the T-Money logo on it and digital display for showing your balance. It is the same for taxis, buses and convenience stores. When entering and leaving the subway and buses you must swipe the card. In shops and taxis, inform the staff you wish to pay by T-Money and then touch your card off the T-Money sensor.
How to top-up / recharge T-money in Korea:
There are a few ways to recharge your T-Money card in Korea. To recharge your T-money card at the subway station you must use the T-money recharge machine located beside the ticket gates. Press the recharge button, insert your card and put in your money (pic below). If you try to leave the ticket gate but don’t have enough money left, don’t panic. There is always a recharge machine before the ticket gate exit and you can add money. If you have no money left on the bus you can recharge at the entrance of the bus or alternatively just get off the bus but you will be charged the maximum fare for that journey.
You can recharge you T-Money with up to 90,000 won. The minimun recharge is 1,000 won. When you are using the reload machines at the subway you can recharge using notes only. The recharge machine does not accept coins.