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This international travel necessity is the secret to a better domestic flight

Nov. 22, 2020
3 min read
This international travel necessity is the secret to a better domestic flight
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Thanksgiving is around the corner.

Despite the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance to stay home this holiday, millions are taking to the air in numbers that we haven't seen since the skies emptied back in March.

If you are one of the ones traveling right now, odds are that you're headed somewhere within the country. With most countries closed to Americans, there simply aren't many international destinations to visit.

But even if you're keeping your passport in the safe this year, there's one international travel necessity you shouldn't forget to pack. And that's an international power converter.

Why?

So you can avoid one of my travel pet peeves — wobbly power sockets.

Universal power outlets on Delta's Airbus A220-300 accept all types of plugs

At this point, most major U.S. airlines offer power outlets across their domestic fleet. But just because they're available doesn't mean your charger is going to stick inside the outlet.

Some domestic planes operate four to five (or more) flights a day. Assuming everyone needs some juice, a charger might be plugged in or removed from a given outlet 10 or more times in a span of 24 hours. Multiply that across a year, and you'll end up with loose power sockets.

For years, I've played Tetris trying to arrange my chargers in the perfect geometric configuration to ensure that it sticks in the airplane outlet. (Check out my Instagram page where I've detailed many of my attempts.) And then, I thought, enough is enough.

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On one trip, I was headed home from Europe with a domestic connection from New York to Florida. My laptop was dying as I boarded the domestic Delta flight, and I desperately needed some juice.

Loose fit with an American duckhead

I tried inserting my power brick in the outlet, and despite my finesse, couldn't get it to stick. I then tried plugging in my European adapter and viola: it fit like a glove.

Snug fit with a European duckhead

Since that flight, I've always traveled with an international power adapter, regardless of my final destination. I can't begin to count how many times it's saved me from a loose power outlet. (Plus, there was one trip that I thought was going to be a quick jaunt to the West Coast, only to find out minutes before boarding the outbound flight that I’d be heading to China instead.)

Since then, I’ve brought either a European or U.K. converter on every trip. Nearly every domestic plane accepts these adapters.

Now, I no longer need to worry about wobbly outlets. Even if Europe is closed for the time being, dust off your power adapter and put it in your bag. Your devices will thank me later.

All photos by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.