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Do I ALWAYS Need ETH To Swap On MetaMask? (Explained)

●   3 min

When you think of a crypto wallet to use on the Ethereum blockchain, the first name that comes to mind may be the MetaMask wallet.

Since Metamask is a crypto wallet built to be used on the Ethereum blockchain, you do need ETH to swap on MetaMask.

However, this is not always the case!

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  1. Whether you need ETH to use the swap feature on MetaMask
  2. How much ETH do you need to pay in fees
  3. How can you swap ETH on PancakeSwap

Do I need ETH to use the swap feature on MetaMask?

Yes, you need to have ETH in your wallet to pay for gas fees if you’re swapping on the Ethereum network.

However, there are plenty of other options also for using the swap feature in Metamask.

While MetaMask is an Ethereum-based non-custodial wallet, it supports many other networks, namely Optimism, BNB Chain, Polygon, Fantom, Arbitrum, and Avalanche.

These are all networks that are compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which you can find out more about in our article here.

You may want to note that some networks like Optimism and Arbitrum still use ETH as the token to pay for gas fees.

You can use the swap feature with multiple cryptos on these networks. You will also need to pay the gas fees in the native token of the respective network.

For example, BNB is the native token on the BNB Smart Chain, while MATIC is the native token for Polygon. You will need to have a small amount of each token if you want to transact on either network.

MetaMask does a great job at telling you the real-time gas prices as can be seen in the image below. This is a simple ETH to DAI swap to give you an idea.

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Moreover, it shows the amount of fee you would have to pay in addition to the base fee if you’d like to have a faster transaction speed.

As you can see, in this case, you can opt for your transaction to be processed very quickly with a 2 GWEI overhead, moderately quickly with a 1.5 GWEI overhead, or safely fast with a 1 GWEI overhead on the base fee.

How much ETH do I need to pay in fees?

If you’re swapping on MetaMask, you would have to pay two kinds of fees:

  • The gas fee of the network you’re swapping on 
  • The MetaMask fee

The gas fee depends on the congestion of the network you’re swapping on and the network itself. Some networks like the BNB network charge a lower gas fee while networks like the ETH network charge a higher gas fee.

It also depends on how quickly you need your transaction to be done. The faster you need your transaction done, the more you may end up paying in gas fees.

As for the MetaMask fee, it can go up to 0.875%, which is rather high!


So, do you really need ETH to swap on using MetaMask?

Absolutely not! It all comes down to whether you want to use ETH. If you do decide to go for ETH, you need to be aware of all the different kinds of fees you need to pay to MetaMask and the Ethereum network to carry out your transaction.

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