ICICI Demat Account Charges vs Zerodha Comparison

ICICI Direct was my first demat account. Later on, I closed my ICICI Direct account and start using Zerodha as my primary Demat Account.

ICICI Direct is a full-service broker that offers a wide range of services, including research advice. To cover these services, they charge a higher brokerage fee. 

On the other hand, Zerodha is a discount broker that focuses mainly on providing a trading platform for stock trading and investing. Zerodha doesn’t offer stock tips, research, or Robo advisory services, which allows you to offer lower brokerage fees.

Let’s compare the ICICI Direct charges vs Zerodha in detail – 

Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Charges

#1. ICICI Direct vs Zerodha Account Opening Charges

Currently, ICICI Direct offers a free Demat and trading account opening. However, you need to pay the monthly subscription fees of up to Rs. 4,999 for some ICICI Direct plans like the ICICI Direct Prime plan, Neo plan, or the Prepaid Plan.  

On the other hand, Zerodha charges Rs. 200 for an online demat account. However, you need to pay an additional Rs. 100 for an MCX commodity account. Opening commodity trading account is optional in Zerodha. 

SegmentICICI Direct Zerodha
Account Opening ChargesZero (Free)Rs. 200 for equity 
& Rs 100 for commodity trading a/c (optional) 

If you prefer offline account opening, Zerodha charges Rs. 400 for an equity trading and Demat account, and Rs. 200 for a commodity trading account. While ICICI Direct also offers offline account opening facility at zero cost. 

Winner – ICICI Direct 

#2. Annual Maintenance Charges (AMC)

Zerodha charges Rs. 75 per quarter, amounting to Rs. 300 per year for the account’s annual maintenance charges. 

On the other hand, ICICI Direct charges a Rs 700 AMC fee which is waived off for the first year. If you choose the ICICI Direct Neo brokerage plan then you have to pay the AMC charges of Rs. 300 from the first year onwards. 

Stock BrokerAMC Charges
ICICI DirectRs. 700 (waived for ICICIdirect customers for the first year)
Rs. 300 for ICICIdirect Neo customers from the first year onwards
ZerodhaRs. 75 per quarter (Rs. 300 annually)

Winner – Zerodha is the clear winner because Zerodha charges Rs 200 for account opening, which is a one-time cost. On the other side, you need to pay an additional annual cost of Rs. 400 to maintain your ICICI direct account as compared to Zerodha.

#3. ICICI Direct Brokerage Charges vs Zerodha

Zerodha has a simple plan that offers zero brokerage charges on equity delivery and 0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lower for intraday trading.

Whereas ICICI Direct has made a complex system with four plans with different brokerage rates.

  • ICICI Direct i-Secure Plan
  • ICICI Direct Neo Plan
  • ICICI Direct Prime Plan
  • Prepaid Brokerage Plan

#1. Brokerage Charges for the ICICI Direct i-Secure Plan vs Zerodha

ICICI i-Secure plan offers fixed percentage brokerage charges based on quarterly turnover.

Trading SegmentICICI Direct Brokerage Charges(i-Secure Plan)Zerodha Brokerage Charges
Equity Delivery0.55%Zero
Equity Intraday0.275% (second leg is not charged)0.03% or Rs. 20 per order(whichever is lower)
Equity Futures0.050% plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg0.03% or Rs. 20 per order(whichever is lower)
Equity OptionsRs. 95 per lot plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second legFlat Rs. 20 per order
Currency FuturesRs. 20 per order0.03% or Rs. 20 per order(whichever is lower)
Currency OptionsRs. 20 per orderFlat Rs. 20 per order
Commodity FuturesRs. 20 per order0.03% or Rs. 20 per order(whichever is lower)
Commodity OptionsRs. 20 per orderFlat Rs. 20 per order

The brokerage for Margin and Margin Plus under I – Secure Plan is 0.050%.

#2. Brokerage charges for ICICI Direct Neo Plan vs Zerodha 

Under the Neo plan, you need to pay the one time subscription fee of Rs. 299. 

SegmentICICI Direct (Neo Plan)Zerodha Brokerage Charges
Equity Delivery0.55%Zero
Equity IntradayRs 20 per order0.03% or Rs. 20 per order(whichever is lower)
Equity FuturesRs 0 (free)0.03% or Rs. 20 per order(whichever is lower)
Equity OptionsRs 20 per orderFlat Rs. 20 per order
Currency FuturesRs 20 per order0.03% or Rs. 20 per order(whichever is lower)
Currency OptionsRs 20 per orderFlat Rs. 20 per order
Commodity FuturesRs 20 per order0.03% or Rs. 20 per order(whichever is lower)
Commodity OptionsRs 20 per orderFlat Rs. 20 per order

#3. Brokerage charges for ICICI Direct Prime plan

Prime PlanDelivery BrokerageIntraday/ FuturesEquity Options (per lot)Currency F&O (Per Order)Commodity F&O (Per Order)
Rs. 2990.27%0.027%Rs. 40Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 9990.22%0.022%Rs. 35Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 1,9990.18%0.018%Rs. 25Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 2,9990.15%0.015%Rs. 20Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 3,9990.12%0.012%Rs. 15Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 4,9990.10%0.010%Rs. 10Rs 20Rs 20

#4. Brokerage charges under Prepaid Brokerage plan

Prepaid ValueEquity DeliveryEquity Intraday & FuturesEquity Options (in Rs. Per lot)Currency F&O (per order)Commodity F&O (per order)
Rs. 2,5000.25%0.25%35/-Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 5,0000.22%0.22%30/-Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 12,5000.18%0.18%25/-Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 25,0000.15%0.15%20/-Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 50,0000.12%0.12%15/-Rs 20Rs 20
Rs. 1,00,0000.07%0.07%7/-Rs 20Rs 20

Winner – Zerodha 

#4. Call and Trade Charges

ICICI Direct offers you free first 20 calls per month. After that, you have to pay Rs 25 per call as Call & Trade fee. Whereas Zerodha charges Rs. 50 per order. 

ZerodhaRs. 50 per order
ICICI DirectFirst 20 calls per month – Free
After that, Rs. 25 per order

Winner – ICICI Direct

#5. Mutual Fund and IPO Investment Charges

Zerodha doesn’t charge anything when you invest in mutual funds using their platforms. But with ICICI Direct, if you’re investing less than Rs. 8 lakhs in mutual funds, you’ll need to pay Rs. 100 for each lump-sum purchase.

For SIP transactions, the charge is Rs.30 or 1.5% of the investment value (whichever is lower), along with a 10.30% service tax per transaction.

Additionally, both the platforms Zerodha and ICICI Direct do not charge any fees for IPO investments, making it easier for you to invest in the IPO.

Winner – Zerodha

#6. Pledge and Unpledged Charges

You can use the margin against Demat holdings for trading futures & options only. Zerodha charges Rs 30 per scrip on pledging. There is no fee charged for unpledging. 

On the other hand, SBI Securities charges you 0.02% of the loan amount as pledge charges and Rs. 25 per unpledge request. 

StockbrokerPledgeUnpledge 
Zerodha Rs 30 per scripFree
SBI Securities0.02% of the loan amount Rs. 25 per scrip

Winner – Zerodha 

#7. Margin Shortfall Penalty

ICICI Direct charges the two types of margin shortfall penalties – 

  • End-of-Day (EOD) Margin Shortfall – If your positions at the end of trading day have a shortfall as against the required margins, then a penalty is applied.
  • Peak margin shortfall – The exchange takes 4 snapshots of your positions at random times during market hours, and in case there is a shortfall during any then penalty is applicable.

The following penalty shall be levied by both stock brokers ICICI Direct and Zerodha for EOD or Peak margin.

Shortfall collection Margin Shortfall Penalty 
Margins is less than 1 lakh or less than 10% of the applicable margin0.50%
Margins is greater than 1 lakh or greater than 10% of applicable margin1%
Margins for a client take place for more than 5 days in a month.5%
Margins for a client takes place for more than 5 days in a month.5% each day
For MCX, from the 4th instance of the shortfall, if the margin shortfall is reported 3 times or more during a month. 5%

Winner – Tie

#8. Auto-square Off Charges

ICICI Direct charges a flat fee of Rs. 25 per executed trade for all Auto-square-off trades.

On the other hand, Zerodha charges Rs. 50 per auto-squared off for all open intraday positions after the cut-off time.

Winner – ICICI Direct

Other Charges

#1. CMR Copy Charges

Zerodha provides the first CMR (Client Master Report) copy for free, subsequent requests are charged Rs. 20 + Rs. 100 (courier charge).

On the other side, ICICI Direct charges Rs. 50 for sending a physical copy of your Contract Note, Trade Confirmation, and Account Statement.

#2. Off Market Share Transfer Charges 

For off-market share transfers, Zerodha levies Rs. 25 or 0.03% of the transfer value, whichever is higher. While ICICI Direct charges Rs. 25 per off-market transaction.

#3. Funds Transfer Charges 

Both ICICI Direct and Zerodha charge a fee of Rs. 9 per deposit through net banking. However, if you transfer funds through UPI or IMPS, there is no charge levy by both platforms.

You can also check the detailed guide on how to add and withdraw money from Zerodha.

#4. Fund Withdrawal Charges

ICICI Direct charges Rs. 25 per fund withdrawal. While Zerodha does not charge any fees for funds withdrawal from the trading account to your bank account.

#5. Cancel Orders Charges

For canceled orders, Zerodha does not charge any fees. Conversely, ICICI Direct charges Rs. 25 per canceled order.

Cancellation can be due to –

  • Canceling orders manually
  • Auto-canceled by the system
  • The order rejected for the shortage of funds or any reason

#6. GTT Order Charges

GTT (Good Till Triggered) orders are orders that remain open until a specific trigger point is reached. ICICI Direct equity delivery charges for GTT orders as per the brokerage plan.

On the other hand, Zerodha does not charge any fees for setting up GTT orders. However, you need to pay the brokerage fee of Rs. 20 when the order is triggered.

#7. BTST Trading Charges

For BTST (Buy Today Sell Tomorrow) trades, Zerodha does not charge any fees, as these orders fall under the delivery product category.

On the other hand, ICICI Direct charges a flat fee of Rs. 25 per executed trade for all BTST trades.

ICICI Direct Vs Zerodha Government Taxes and Regulatory Charges

#1. SEBI Charges

Every broker has to pay a fee to SEBI for every trade that they execute on behalf of their clients.

Both ICICI Direct and Zerodha charge a fee of Rs 10 per crore traded as SEBI charges.

#2. GST (Goods and Services Tax)

GST is levied by the government on the services provided by the broker. 18% GST needs to be paid on all the charges like brokerage fees, SEBI charges, and transaction fees.

#3. Transaction Charges

Both ICICI Direct and Zerodha charge transaction charges for every trade executed on the exchange. The charges are levied by the exchange and vary from one exchange to another. The charges are as follows:

Segment Zerodha Charges ICICI Direct Charges
NSE Equity (intraday/ delivery)0.00325% per trade on buy & sell0.0034%
BSE Equity (intraday/delivery) As per the stock groupRs 0.75 per trade basis for all scrips
NSE Equity Futures0.0019%0.0020% 
NSE Equity Options0.050% (on premium)0.053% on premium
NSE Currency Futures0.0009%0.0009% 
NSE Currency Options0.035%0.035% on Premium
BSE Currency Futures0.00022%Not Available
BSE Currency Options0.001%Not Available
Commodity Futures0.0026%0.05% on Premium
Commodity Options0.05%0.05% on Premium

#4. STT Charges

STT (Securities Transaction Tax) is levied by the government on securities and commodities on all trades executed on the exchange. The charges are as follows:

Trading SegmentZerodha ChargesICICI Direct Charges
Equity Delivery0.1% on both buy & sell0.1% on both buy & sell
Equity Intraday 0.025% only on sell0.025% only on sell
Equity Futures0.0125% only on sell0.01% only on sell
Equity Options0.0625% on sell side (on premium)0.05% on sell side (on premium).
0.125% on settlement value 
Currency F&ONo STTNo STT
Commodity Futures0.01% on sell (Non-Agri)0.01% on sell (Non-Agri)
Commodity Options0.05% on sell0.05% on sell 

#5. Stamp Duty

Stamp duty charges, which are levied by the state government on the transfer of securities. Stamp duty is charged only on the buy side. 

Stamp Duty is also the same between the two platforms. 

Trading SegmentCharges
Equity Delivery0.015% or Rs 1500 / crore
Equity Intraday 0.003% or Rs 300 / crore
Equity Futures0.002% or Rs 200 / crore
Equity Options0.003% or Rs 300 / crore 
Currency Futures0.0001% or Rs 10 per crore
Currency Options0.0001% or Rs 10 per crore
Commodity Futures0.002% or Rs 200 per crore
Commodity Options0.003% or Rs 300 per crore 

#6. DP Charges

For each Demat debit transaction (sell), Zerodha applies a DP charge of Rs. 13.5 per scrip, whereas ICICI Direct imposes a DP charge of Rs. 25 per scrip.

There are no charges for Demat credit transactions. This is charged only on selling shares from the demat account.

Conclusion

For retail investors, Zerodha is better than ICICIdirect based on common features like account charges, AMC, lower brokerage charges, mutual funds, IPO investments, and other charges.

However, if you prefer having more guidance for your stock investments and you’re okay with paying higher brokerage fees for that help, then ICICI Direct is a good fit for you.

FAQs

What are the Demat debit charges for ICICI Direct and Zerodha?

Zerodha charges Rs. 13.5 per scrip, while ICICI Direct charges Rs. 25 per scrip for Demat debit transactions.

What are the charges for auto-square-off trades with ICICI Direct and Zerodha?

ICICI Direct charges Rs. 25 per trade, while Zerodha charges Rs. 50 for open intraday positions after cut-off time.

Are there any charges for mutual fund and IPO investments with ICICI Direct and Zerodha?

Zerodha has no charges for mutual fund investments. ICICI Direct charges apply based on investment amount and transaction type.

This means if you’re investing less than Rs. 8 lakhs in mutual funds, you’ll need to pay Rs. 100 for each lump-sum purchase.

For SIP transactions, the charge is Rs.30 or 1.5% of the investment value (whichever is lower), along with a 10.30% service tax per transaction.

How much do ICICI Direct and Zerodha charge for Call & Trade services?

ICICI Direct offers the first 20 calls per month for free, then Rs. 25 per call. Zerodha charges Rs. 50 per order.

How do brokerage charges differ between ICICI Direct and Zerodha?

Zerodha offers zero brokerage on equity delivery and lower of 0.03% or Rs. 20 per order charges on intraday. ICICI Direct charges 0.55% for delivery and 0.275% for intraday under the i-Secure plan.

What are the annual maintenance charges for ICICI Direct and Zerodha accounts?

Zerodha charges Rs. 75 per quarter (Rs. 300 annually). ICICI Direct charges zero for the first year and Rs. 3700 from the second year onwards.

How much does it cost to open a Demat and trading account with ICICI Direct and Zerodha?

ICICI Direct offers free account opening, but some plans have subscription fees. Zerodha charges Rs. 200 for an online Demat account, with an additional Rs. 100 for MCX commodity (optional).

About Rajan Dhawan

Rajan has covered personal finance and investing for over 5 years. Previously, he was in the IT field for 8 years after completing his MCA but his deep interest in personal finance led him to become an investing expert. He is passionate about investing, stocks, startups, and cryptos.

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