Currency conversion surcharges are charges of an extra two percent after Visa/MC have already charged one percent.
IDEAS to avoid these fees.
Book by phone for Canadian travel. Does the Canadian per call book fee outweigh the foreign currency price? There will be a trade-off point that will be different for different purchases.
Phone your bank and negotiate these foreign transaction fees. Will there be a separate charge for converted US dollar transactions? Will there be an added ATM fees for foreign ATM transactions above 4.7%?
Woo your travel agent. The travel agent can help you pre-pay (or post pay) your travels. For example, lets say you're travelling to Australia and need a hotel, ferry transfers, flights out of Sydney and car service. You can book and pay through the travel agent with your credit card. Your travel agent gives you further leverage on your promised travel accomodation and you have further recourse with your credit card bank
Obtain a credit card that charges no foreign credit card transactions. Right now, Capital One and Amalgamated Bank (Chicago) don't charge. MBNA's Fidelity Investment Rewards Mastercard gives a 1.5% cash rebate minus the one percent currency conversion fee. EmigrantDirect pays up to 1.25 minus the one percent currency conversion fee. The last two leave you with a net profit of 0.5% and 0.25%.