Zerodha vs ICICI Direct Comparison 2022
zerodha vs icici

Zerodha vs ICICI Direct Comparison 2022

Last updated – January 26, 2022

Zerodha and ICICI Direct are the top-most demat account service providers in India. One side, ICICI is a full-service broker that provides advisory service along with a 3-in-1 account service.

Zerodha, on the other hand is a discount broker who charge a flat fee of Rs 20 per trade irrespective of the trade volume.

Let me show you the comparison of both scenarios;  Flat Fee vs. Percentage Brokerage. 

If you do 20 trades (40 trades including buying & selling) of Rs. 20,00,000 every month, you will have to pay charges as below:

ICICI Direct

Brokerage charges : 0.275% ( includes both buying & selling)

Rs.20,00,000 * 0.275% = Rs. 55,00

One year cost will be Rs. 55,00*12 = Rs. 66,000

Annual brokerage cost of Rs. 66,000 is huge.


Brokerage charges: Rs. 20/order  or (0.03% whichever is lower)

40 trades * Rs. 20 = Rs. 800

One year’s cost will be Rs. 800 * 12 = Rs. 9,600

If you trade for Rs. 20,00,000 in 40 trades, you will have to pay Rs. 9,600 only.

Now you know the difference between full-service brokerage and flat-fee brokerage.

Let’s compare ICICI direct vs Zeordha side by side to get better understanding.

Zerodha vs ICICI Direct

ZerodhaICICI Direct
Flat Rs. 20/order or 0.03% (whichever is lower.)0.275% brokerage on intraday 
Free equity delivery0.55% charges on delivery
Equity Options at flat Rs. 20 per executed order Equity Options at flat Rs. 95 per lot 
You can get a 3-in-1 account facility if you have a savings account in IDBI Bank.A 3-in-1 account facility is available if you have an ICICI bank account.
Zerodha offers direct mutual funds investment.ICICI Direct offers regular mutual funds investment.
No market research advisory providedAward-winning market research advisory

Let’s have a detailed review of Zerodha and ICICI Direct for a better understanding of two leading brokers of India. 

Zerodha Demat & Trading Account Review

Zerodha introduced a flat fee brokerage structure in India where you have to pay a flat fee like Rs. 20 per order instead of paying the percentage amount of your order. 

Because the flat fee helps you save a handsome amount of money with  high trade orders with big amounts. You can check the complete Zerodha review

Zerodha Brokerage Charges

You don’t have to pay any charges on the delivery of stocks. This means, if you are not trading, rather investing, for the long-term in shares, you won’t have to pay any brokerage.

For intraday, trading charges are flat Rs. 20 or 0.01%, whichever is lower. 

Intraday trading includes equities, currency, and commodity trading.

Equity DeliveryZero
Equity Intraday  TradingRs. 20 or 0.03% (whichever is lower)
Equity OptionsFlat Rs. 20 per executed order 
Equity FuturesRs. 20 or 0.03% (whichever is lower)
Currency OptionsRs. 20 or 0.03% (whichever is lower) 
Commodity F&ORs. 20 or 0.03% (whichever is lower)

Zerodha Margin Provided

Zerodha provides margin on 3 different products; MIS, Bracket, and Cover Orders.

Zerodha offers around a 3-12.5% margin that is up to 8x depending on the script. 

For Intraday orders in F&O –

  • For Index, the margin required is 35%
  • For Stocks, the margin required is 45%
  • For Commodities & Currency, it is 50% 

As per SEBI’s new guidelines, no broker can give a high amount of leverage to their customers.

Zerodha Account Opening Charges 

Account opening charges 

  • For Trading & Demat account it is Rs. 200 
  • For commodity account it is Rs. 100 (Free for the first year)

Zerodha’s annual maintenance charges – Rs. 75/quarter.

Zerodha Trading Platforms 

#1. Zerodha Kite

Kite is a fast & intuitively designed trading platform that allows you to trade equities, F&O, commodities, and currency. You receive updated information with live streaming of the latest market trends without any lag. 

Zerodha- kite

You can search across 90,000+ stocks across multiple exchanges instantly. You get multiple MarketWatch and live market depths up to level-3. 

Kite’s level-3 data gives you deeper insights into market liquidity and allows you to set trading strategies accordingly.

You get 100+ indicators with an advanced charting interface. 

#2. Zerodha Kite Connect

Kite Connect is a tool to create powerful trading platforms using simple HTTP/JSON APIs. 

Zerodha Kite Connect

You can build your own investment app using these APIs and showcase that to Zerodha’s client base. Coin, SmallCase, and Streak are examples of investment/trading apps built over Kite Connect.

#3. SmallCase

SmallCase allows you to build a diversified, low-cost portfolio for long-term investment purposes.  A Small Case diversifies your portfolio with multiple stocks and protects you against market volatility of the market.


You have to pay fees only when you transact for mutual funds without paying any maintenance fee. You can invest in stocks and hold them in your account. 

You can also invest in SIPs for regular & less risky investments if you are a newbie.

#4. Streak

Streak is the world’s first platform for traders to create, backtest, and deploy trading strategies without any coding skills.

You can track real-time market trends, get alerts, and manage positions. 


Streak work in 3 steps:

1. Create – You can create trading strategies by typing technical indicators, selecting stocks you want to trade, and targeting profit percentage.

2. Backtest – Backtesting allows a trader to simulate a strategy using previous years’ data to analyze risk and profitability before putting actual money at risk.

3. Deploy – Once you have done backtesting, you can deploy that without any need to track the stock manually. 

#5. Sensibull

Zerodha has collaborated with Sensibull to provide customers with the ‘Options Trading’ platform. You can trade Nifty Options, Bank Nifty Options, Stock Options, and many more. 

You get expert advice in real-time on Whatsapp.  You can also learn trading with video lessons and practice virtually without investing real money. Sensibull has three plans; Free, Lite, and Pro. 

#6. GoldenPi

GoldenPi is India’s first online platform to invest in bonds and debentures. You can invest in bonds & debentures to get fixed returns on your investments.

3 steps to start investing using GoldenPi:

  1. Choose bonds that match your goals
  2. Complete KYC online
  3. Make the payment online and receive bonds in your Demat account. 

Best For

Zerodha is best for both newcomers as well as professionals. You not only get free equity delivery, low cost trades but also get detailed market analysis to create trading strategies. 

If you want to invest in mutual funds, you can invest in mutual funds directly and save money without paying any commission.

Another benefit of Zerodha is that you can also apply for IPOs using UPI (BHIM). 


  • Free equity delivery and flat brokerage is very cost-effective
  • Hassle-free investments in IPO using UPI payments
  • In-depth reports and vast historical data for better analysis
  • Enable user to invest directly in mutual funds
  • Ease of creating multiple trading strategies & alerts
  • Better customer support, they even quickly respond to Google play reviews


  • Server slows down during peak hours
  • Limited bank acceptance for NRI account
  • No research-based advice facility for customers
  • Low margin leverage as compared to Motilal Oswal

ICICI Direct Demat & Trading Account Review

You can enjoy full-service brokerage with ICICI Direct who has over 2.6 million customers for its innovation and robust technology. ICICI  Direct has over 200 ICICI Direct stores in over 87 locations.

You can enjoy the benefits of a 3-in-1 account that includes savings, Demat, and  trading accounts at one place. You can easily transfer funds and earn interest on the idle money sitting in your trading account.

ICICI Direct Brokerage Charges

ICICI Direct has 3 brokerage plans:

#1. I-Secure Plan

The minimum brokerage for transactions up to Rs. 6,364 on stocks having a price more than Rs.10 is Rs. 35 per trade or 2.5% of the trade value (whichever is lower). 

Transactions above Rs. 6,364 are as below;

First Leg Brokerage – 0.55%

Second Leg Brokerage – 0%

Effective Brokerage – 0.275%

(Here, Leg is your position while trading. That means if you purchase at the start then that would be your first leg, and when you will sell, selling will be your second leg and vice versa.)

Equity Delivery0.55%
Equity Intraday  Trading0.275% 
Equity OptionsFlat Rs. 95 per lot Second leg – Rs. 50 per lot
Equity FuturesFirst leg – 0.05% Second leg – Rs. 50
Currency OptionsFlat Rs. 25 per lot Second leg – Rs. 10 per lot
Currency FuturesFirst leg – 0.05% Second leg – Rs. 10

#2. Prepaid Brokerage Plan

You have 6 plans to opt from. The more you pay upfront, the lesser will be the brokerage cost.

PlanEquities Brokerage (%)Futures/Margins(%)Options(Per lot)Currency F & O

Demat charges for each debit instruction = Rs. 20

#3. ICICI  Direct Prime Plan

If you want discounted brokerage and exclusive research for your trading goals, you can buy the Prime Plan.

Prime Plan(in Rs)Equities Brokerage (%)Futures/Margins(%)Options(Per lot)Currency F & O

You also get the benefit of instant payout for sold stocks. You also get a complimentary ‘Bullet Plan’ in which you get zero brokerage on intraday Stop Loss for trades squared off within 5 minutes.

ICICI Direct Margin Provided

There are two offers for margin provided by ICICI  Direct. 

Margin Product

You can get leverage up to 3 times to 4 times your available funds for the intraday settlement cycle.

MarginPLUS Product

MarginPLUS gives you much higher leverage in your account against your limits. You can get leverage up to 25 times your available funds.

ICICI Direct Account Opening Charges 

ICICI Direct charges Rs. 975 (One time fee) for opening a 3-in-1 account. The 3-in-1 account includes a savings account along with  Demat and trading accounts.

ICICI Direct offers two types of Annual Maintenance Charges

  • Email Statement AMC – Rs. 500 per year (If you want your account statements on email)
  • Physical Statement AMC – Rs. 600 per year (If you want to deliver your account statements on provided address)

Also readUpStox vs Zerodha Comparison 2022

ICICI Direct Trading Platforms

#1. ICICI Trade Racer Review

You get in-depth research calls with multiple watchlist facility. You can enhance your trading experience with customized screens and shortcuts.

You can also customize parameters to spot real-time trading opportunities. Trade Racer is a bundle of different tools for different purposes like trade scanner, live scanner, heat map and many more.

ICICI Trade Racer Review

With the Trade  Scanner, you get pre-defined technical parameters that track the real-time price fluctuations to create trading strategies. 

Heat Map represents the price movement of a group of stocks with respect to their yesterday’s closing price. The table is color-coded where you can see negative stocks in Red background and positive stocks in Blue Background.

Advance-Decline ratio is used in technical analysis to compare the number of stocks that are trading positive with the number of stocks that are trading negative by analyzing their last day’s closing prices.

You also get multiple bars to directly use different options right from the home page.

#2. Trade Racer Web Review

Trade Racer Web is a web-based trading platform that provides you access to multiple options like Order Window, Multiple widgets in Single Screen, Customisation of Widgets, Drag & Drop features.

 Trade Racer Web Review

You can make multiple watchlists up to nine widgets on a single screen. You can modify allocation and place orders for Equity along with F&O.

You can not only modify or cancel orders using a common order book but also place the cover and add more orders. 

#3. ICICI Direct Mobile Review

ICICI Direct Mobile Review

ICICI  Direct Mobile app allows you to track your portfolio, analyze market movements and trade right from your smartphone. You can also get live research calls and get stock quotes. 

You can trade in equities along with Future & Options directly from our mobile.

Best For 

ICICI Direct is suitable for highly active traders who also need research calls along with robust trading platforms.  You will also get benefit of 3-in-1 account through which you can easily transfer your funds.

But you would need to pay a huge brokerage charges on ICICI direct services.


  • In-depth research calls 
  • 3-in-1 Account
  • You can invest in mutual funds, bonds, insurance right from a single place.


  • High brokerage on trading and delivery
  • Prepaid and prime plans are also expensive
  • Regular investment options in mutual funds, so you have to pay a commission
  • The mobile trading app has a terrible interface

Also read – Zerodha vs Sharekhan Comparison 2022

Zerodha vs ICICI Direct (comparison table)

Let’s have a detailed comparison of Zerodha and ICICI direct side by side

ZerodhaICICI  Direct
Low BrokerageOnly one brokerage for all customers – Flat Rs. 20/order or 0.01% (whichever is lower.)

No Delivery Brokerage fee.
High BrokerageIntraday Transaction Brokerage at 0.275% per order. 
Delivery Brokerage is 0.55% per order.
Account opening charges
Equity- Rs. 200 Commodity – Rs. 100
Rs. 975 (One time fee)
AMC – Rs. 300 per year (Pay Rs. 75 per quarter)AMC – Rs. 500 per year for statement through email
Rs. 600 per year for physical statement
Largest brokerage firm in India based on the number of customers2nd largest brokerage firm in India based on the number of customers
The online platform gets sluggish in peak hours at timesThe high-speed online platform 
Create trading strategies without coding skills using Streak platformCreate investing strategies with live research calls.
No market research advice. Purely Execution platformIn-depth research advice and portfolio/wealth management services
No Robo advisory in ZerodhaTrack and Act is the Robo advisor for ICICIdirect
Zerodha offers direct mutual funds investment to save more moneyYou can invest in regular mutual funds
You can get a 3-in-1 account facility but the process is quite complicatedYou can easily get a 3-in-1trading account.


Zerodha and ICICI both are the leading service providers in their respective key areas. But the ICICI direct brokerage charges are too high even as compared to other full service broker like Angel broking.

I would suggest you to open Zerodha account if you are looking for a discount broker. If your requirements are for full service broker, then I would suggest you to find another full service broker, not ICICI direct.

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