I have used both Zerodha and ICICI Direct accounts. ICICI Direct was my Demat account until I realized they charge a high brokerage fee as compared to other stockbrokers. Then I opened an account with Zerodha to save on brokerage. Last year I closed my ICICI Direct account as well.
Honestly speaking, we can’t compare ICICI Direct & Zerodha on the same parameters. ICICI Direct is a full-service broker that provides research advisory services. ICICI Direct charges a higher brokerage fee to provide the services.
Whereas Zerodha is a discount broker that provides only the trading platform to trade or invest in stocks. Zerodha does not provide you with stock investment tips, research, or Robo advisory services, so charges discounted brokerage fee.
We can compare Zerodha vs ICICI Direct on some common features like AMC, brokerage fee, customer support, and trading platforms.
Zerodha vs ICICI Direct Comparison Table
|Broker Type||Discount Broker||Full-Service Broker|
|Year of Incorporation||2010||2000|
|Exchange Membership||NSE, BSE, MCX, and NCDEX||BSE, NSE|
|Trade-in||Stocks/Equity, F&O, Commodities, Currency, Mutual Funds, IPOs, Bonds & Govt-Securities||Stocks/Equity, Currency F&O, Commodity, Mutual Funds, IPOs, ETF, Insurance, FD/Bonds, Loans, NPS, Tax|
|Account opening charges||Rs 200+ Rs 100 for Commodity (optional)||Free|
|Demat AMC Fees||Rs. 300||Rs. 700|
|Intraday Margin||Upto 5X on intraday||Upto 5X on intraday|
|Brokerage Charges||Zerodha Plan||ICICI Direct (i-Secure plan)|
|Equity Delivery||0 (Free)||0.55%|
|Equity Intraday||0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lower||0.275% (second leg is not charged)|
|Equity Futures||0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lower||0.050% plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg|
|Equity Options||Rs. 20 per executed order||Rs. 95 per lot plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg|
|Currency F&O||0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lower||Rs 20 per order|
|Commodity F&O||0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lower||Rs 20 per order|
|Call & Trade Charges||Rs. 50 per order||Rs. 50 per order|
ICICI Direct Vs Zerodha Account Charges & AMC Comparison
#1. Account Opening Charges
ICICI Direct offers a free Demat & trading account whereas Zerodha charges Rs. 200 for account opening. If you want to open a commodity trading account with Zerodha, you need to pay Rs. 100 more. Commodity trading is optional in Zerodha.
|Account Opening Charges||Zero (Free)||Rs 200 (equity only)|
Rs 300 (with commodity account)
Winner – ICICI Direct
#2. Account Annual Maintenance Charges (AMC)
Zerodha charges Rs 300 for the account’s annual maintenance charges, on the other hand, ICICI Direct charges a Rs 700 AMC fee.
|AMC Fee||Zerodha||ICICI Direct|
|Trading AMC Fee||Zero||Zero|
|Demat AMC Fee||Rs. 300||Rs. 700 (waived for ICICIdirect customers for the first year)|
Rs. 300 for ICICIdirect Neo customers from the first year onwards
Winner – Zerodha is the clear winner because Zerodha charges Rs 200 for account opening, but that’s a one-time cost.
On the other hand, you need to pay Rs. 400 extra every year to maintain your ICICI Direct account as compared to Zerodha.
You can also look through our extensive Zerodha Review article to understand the advantages and shortcomings of the Zerodha Demat account.
Zerodha vs ICICI Direct Brokerage Charges
Zerodha offers zero brokerage on equity delivery and for intraday is 0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lower.
Whereas ICICI Direct offers four plans with different brokerage rates.
- ICICI Direct Prime Plan
- ICICI Direct Neo Plan
- Prepaid Brokerage Plan
- i-Secure Plan
#1. Brokerage Charges for the ICICI Direct Prime plan
|Prime Plan||Delivery Brokerage||Intraday/ Futures||Equity Options (per lot)||Currency F&O (Per Order)||Commodity F&O (Per Order)|
|Rs. 299||0.27%||0.027%||Rs. 40||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 999||0.22%||0.022%||Rs. 35||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 1,999||0.18%||0.018%||Rs. 25||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 2,999||0.15%||0.015%||Rs. 20||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 3,999||0.12%||0.012%||Rs. 15||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 4,999||0.10%||0.010%||Rs. 10||Rs 20||Rs 20|
#2. Brokerage Charges for ICICI Direct Neo Plan
|Equity Intraday||Rs 20 per order|
|Equity Futures||Rs 0 (free)|
|Equity Options||Rs 20 per order|
|Currency F&O||Rs 20 per order|
|Commodity F&O||Rs 20 per order|
#3. Brokerage Charges under the Prepaid Brokerage plan
|Prepaid Value||Equity Delivery||Equity Intraday & Futures||Equity Options (in Rs. Per lot)||Currency F&O (per order)||Commodity F&O (per order)|
|Rs. 2,500||0.25%||0.25%||35/-||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 5,000||0.22%||0.22%||30/-||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 12,500||0.18%||0.18%||25/-||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 25,000||0.15%||0.15%||20/-||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 50,000||0.12%||0.12%||15/-||Rs 20||Rs 20|
|Rs. 1,00,000||0.07%||0.07%||7/-||Rs 20||Rs 20|
#4. Brokerage Charges under i-Secure Plan
|Equity Intraday||0.275% (second leg is not charged)|
|Equity Futures||0.050% plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg|
|Equity Options||Rs. 95 per lot plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg|
|Currency F&O||Rs. 20 per order|
|Commodity F&O||Rs. 20 per order|
The brokerage for Margin and Margin Plus under the I – Secure Plan is 0.050%.
Winner – Zerodha
Zerodha vs ICICI Direct Margin
As per SEBI regulations on peak margins from 1st September 2021, both Zerodha and ICICIdirect offer up to 20% of the trade value (5x leverage) for intraday trading.
|Equity Delivery||100% of trade value (1x leverage)||100% of trade value (1x leverage)|
|Equity Intraday||20% of trade value (5X leverage)||20% of trade value (5X leverage)|
|F&O (Equity, Currency & Commodities)||100% of NRML margin (Span + Exposure) (1x leverage)||100% of NRML margin (Span + ELM) (1x leverage)|
Winner – Both provides the same
Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Trading Platforms
Zerodha offers various trading platforms to its customers.
- Kite – Web-based trading platform for investing in stocks
- Kite Mobile – A trading app for Android/iOS
- Coin or Coin app – invest in mutual funds or bonds
- Console – Back-office platform
- Sentinel – Live market price alerts tool
Zerodha doesn’t provide IPO investment through mobile apps.
ICICI Direct provides three online trading platforms to its customers
- ICICI Direct Mobile – Mobile trading app
- Trade Racer Web – Web-based platform
- ICICIdirect Trade Racer – Desktop trading software
Winner – Both Zerodha and ICICI direct are winners. Because both provide an easy-to-use interface and access to a wide range of technical indicators.
However, some users have complained that the Zerodha platform occasionally hangs before the market close due to high server loads.
ICICI Direct Vs Zerodha Customer Support
ICICI Direct is a full-service broker offering high-quality customer service, while Zerodha is a discount broker providing a better customer support system as compared to all other discount brokers in India.
|ICICI Direct Customer Care||Zerodha Customer Care|
|Account opening number||1860 123 1122|
|080 4719 2020 |
080 7117 5337
|Account opening email||[email protected]|
|Trading issues||1860 123 1122|
|080 4718 1888|
080 4718 1999
|Ticket raise||Customer service||Zerodha ticket to raise|
Winner – ICICI Direct
Zerodha vs ICICI Direct: Which is better?
For retail investors, Zerodha is better than ICICIdirect based on common features like account charges, AMC, brokerage charges, margin, trading platforms, and customer support.
If you need handholding in your stock investments and you don’t mind paying high brokerage in return, then ICICI Direct is a good option for you.
You can also go through our list of best demat and trading accounts in India to know other options as well.