Just like most other major cities in the world, Seoul is offering discounts for using public transportation if you pay via a special transportation card.
That transportation card in Seoul is the T-Money card, which can be used on pretty much all modes of transportation in the city, including metro, bus and even taxis.
T-Money gives you a 100 won ($0.09) fare discount for metro and buses, as well as additional transfer discounts between buses and metro lines.
The T-Money card is either prepaid or postpaid (using a credit card). The prepaid T-Money card costs 2,500 won ($2.2) and can be purchased at every metro station or convenient stores (7-Eleven, CU, GS 25, etc.).
If you’re leaving Seoul and you still have some money on the card, you can get a refund for the remaining balance after a 500 won ($0.44) service charge.
There is also the M-Pass card, which was made for tourists who need to use Seoul public transportation multiple times per day for several days.
You use the M-Pass card for free rides up to 20 times a day regardless of the distance for 1 to 7 days (depending on which type of M-Pass card you purchase).
The card can be used on most subways and public buses, and it can also serve as the regular T-Money card (M-Pass card has built-in T-Money function) if you load it up with additional funds.
You can purchase the M-Pass card at the tourist information center on the 1st floor of the Incheon International Airport (in front of Exit 5 and Exit 10).
The price of the M-Pass card depends on the card type: 1-day 10,000 won ($8.81); 2-day 18,000 won ($15.86); 3-day 25,500 won ($22.46); 5-day 42,500 won ($37.44) and 7-day 59,500 won ($52.42).
The M-Pass card is valid for one month from the date of the purchase. The card is activated upon first use and expires at 23:59 of the last day. For example, if you start using the 2-day M-Pass card today, it will be expired at 23:59 tomorrow.
SEOUL CITY PASS CARD
Seoul also has Seoul City Pass cards, which combine the benefits of T-Money cards with providing discounts for certain tourist attractions, exhibitions and restaurants.
With the Seoul City Pass card, you can use metro lines and public buses for free up to 20 times per day. You can also enjoy discounts on the fares of Seoul City Tour Buses, which travel around the city and stop at many tourist attractions.
Seoul City Pass cards are available for purchasing at tourist information centers, subway stations, and convenience stores including those stores at Incheon Airport’s Arrivals Hall.
The card is available at 15,000 won ($13.21) for 1-day pass; 25,000 won ($22) for 2-day pass; and 35,000 won ($30.83) for 3-day pass.