Zerodha Vs ICICI Direct Comparison (2024)

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

ParticularsZerodhaICICI Direct
Broker TypeDiscount BrokerFull-Service Broker
Year of Incorporation20102000
Exchange MembershipNSE, BSE, MCX, and NCDEXBSE, NSE
Trade-inStocks/Equity, F&O, Commodities, Currency, Mutual Funds, IPOs, Bonds & Govt-SecuritiesStocks/Equity, Currency F&O, Commodity, Mutual Funds, IPOs, ETF, Insurance, FD/Bonds, Loans, NPS, Tax 
Account opening chargesRs 200+ Rs 100 for Commodity (optional)Free
Demat AMC FeesRs. 300Rs. 700
Intraday MarginUpto 5X on intradayUpto 5X on intraday
Brokerage ChargesZerodha PlanICICI Direct (i-Secure plan)
Equity Delivery0 (Free)0.55%
Equity Intraday0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lower0.275% (second leg is not charged)
Equity Futures0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lower0.050% plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg
Equity OptionsRs. 20 per executed orderRs. 95 per lot plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg
Currency F&O0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lowerRs 20 per order
Commodity F&O0.03% or Rs. 20 per executed order whichever is lowerRs 20 per order
Call & Trade ChargesRs. 50 per orderRs. 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.

ICICI DirectZerodha
Account Opening ChargesZero (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 FeeZerodhaICICI Direct
Trading AMC FeeZeroZero
Demat AMC FeeRs. 300Rs. 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 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

#2. Brokerage Charges for ICICI Direct Neo Plan

SegmentBrokerage Charges
Equity Delivery0.55%
Equity IntradayRs 20 per order
Equity FuturesRs 0 (free)
Equity OptionsRs 20 per order
Currency F&ORs 20 per order
Commodity F&ORs 20 per order

#3. Brokerage Charges under the 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

#4. Brokerage Charges under i-Secure Plan

ParticularsBrokerage Charges
Equity Delivery0.55%
Equity Intraday0.275% (second leg is not charged)
Equity Futures0.050% plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg
Equity OptionsRs. 95 per lot plus a flat brokerage of Rs. 50 on the second leg
Currency F&ORs. 20 per order
Commodity F&ORs. 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. 

SegmentZerodhaICICI Direct
Equity Delivery100% of trade value (1x leverage)100% of trade value (1x leverage)
Equity Intraday20% 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 CareZerodha Customer Care
Account opening number1860 123 1122
9833330151 (WhatsApp)
080 4719 2020 
080 7117 5337
Account opening email[email protected]
Trading issues1860 123 1122
9833330151 (WhatsApp)
080 4718 1888
080 4718 1999
Ticket raiseCustomer serviceZerodha 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.

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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