Upstox Vs ICICI Direct – 16 Unbiased Comparison Points To Know Who Is Better?

  • Post category:Stock Market
  • Reading time:25 mins read
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  • Post last modified:August 4, 2023

This Upstox vs ICICI Direct review and comparison is going to be very interesting for you as well, reason being Upstox have beaten ICICI direct to be the 2nd largest stock broker in India in terms of active client list.

Hers is what happened in year in 2020 since October, Upstox had around 1.5 million active clients and reached to second position in comparison to ICICIDirect with 1.3 million active client list.

Just like a cricket game the scoreboard keeps on changing in broking industry too the position do gets change specially for top 5 stock brokers position.

According to the latest month ending NSE list of active clients showed the Upstox maintained it’s 2nd position with more than 6.8 million, 68,60,861 active clients whereas ICICIDirect retained the 3rd position with about 3.8 million, 38,35,356 active clients. 

One needs to understand here, these totally depends on how actively a stock broker is retaining its clients, this also shows Upstox is no mood to loose it’s top position in long term in front of any discount brokers and in near term they will try to reach the top position for sure.

Having said that, One also needs to understand that, earlier full-time brokers have kind of monopoly in broking industry and they have played the game on their pitch, but with the rising discount brokers and extraordinary features such as low brokerage structure, great technical and fundamental analysis trading platform, minimum cost in opening trading/demat account as well as best customer service experience have created space.

This space is now filled by best stock brokers in India such as Dhan Upstox, 5Paisa, Fyers, Espresso by Sharekhan etc.  Moreover nowadays the full-time stock brokers are trying to become discount brokers and discount brokers are trying to offer services which were earlier only offered by fulltime stock brokers.

Such as stock recommendation, mutual fund investment, loans services, etc.

The reason I wanted you to tell this instead of directly doing the comparison between Upstox and ICICIDirect is to make you understand what exactly is going on nowadays in broking industry, which will make you more aware about choosing the best stock broker for getting the services.

Now enough of Gyan, let us comeback to the main topic which is about Upstox Vs ICICI Direct review and knowing who is best amongst both. For this we will go through each services offered by them step by step.

You can read the separate review of Upstox and ICICI Direct Here.

One more thing the post on moneycontain for comparison and review may seem very long, it is due to the comparison of all services by facts and not just plain information.

However below is overall comparison points between Upstox Vs ICICIDirect to tell you in short about who is best by which you can make instant decision to open account instantly.


Upstox Vs ICICIDirect Overall Comparison:

I have already used both their services as well as wrote the reviews about them in detailed way separately, based on my experience and facts below are things you can consider before opening an account with them.

  1. You can trade and invest in all segments i.e. stocks (equity) FnO, Commodity, Currency, at NSE, BSE, MCX on both ICICIDirect and upstox.
  2. Both stock brokers ICICIDirect and Upstox, have best trading platform for desktop/mobile app, you can do fundamental as well as technical analysis quite easily.
  3. Upstox trading platform have also partnered with third party service integration as well such as Smallcase for portfolio based investments and, Sensibull for option based strategies, Tickertape, Streak, Sentinel etc. Smallcase is available with ICICIDirect as well as Sensibull is also integrated.
  4. ICICIDirect is a full time broker so it also gives it users Stock/mutual fund/IPO/Derivatives recommendation, Research reports etc. for free. This service is not available with Upstox.
  5. ICICIDirect has option for you to make investment in US stocks such as Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. using ICICI Direct trading platform whereas This feature is not available with Upstox as of now.
  6. Upstox brokerages are little lower than ICICIDirect brokerages when comparing. ICICIDirect NEO Plan charging Rs.20 per executed order whereas Upstox charging Rs.20 or 0.05% (whichever is lower). Upstox also offers free delivery i.e. brokerage free trades, ICICIDirect charges 0.05% for same.
  7. Upstox offers brokerage or say commission free mutual funds investment and platform for its users. ICICIDirect charges 1-1.5% commission for same. Having said that they do give free recommendation on which mutual funds to invest.
  8. Upstox also gives Margin Trading Facility for up to 2X leverage (50% funds) from Upstox for Equity Delivery trading or buying certain stocks and holding them. ICICIDirect also gives 5x leverage in delivery based trades.
  9. If we talk about Margin at Upstox vs ICICIDirect, after SEBI Rules on Intraday margin every stockbroker is giving same margin5x throughout India, hence this does not matter anymore.
  10. With Upstox and ICICIDirect you can also invest and trade in IPO’s, NFO’s, ETF, SGB, and many other financial products with so much ease.
  11. ICICI Direct is much better for people who not only do intraday trade but make other investments, such as investment in ELSS, PPF, SIP’s, FD, RD, ETF’s etc., or looking for Loans or credit cards, Insurance etc.
  12. Upstox do charges one time account opening fee of Rs.249 and Rs.25 p.m. for AMC (Annual Maintenance Charge) at the year end. However you can open a Free Upstox account with Zero AMC charges for a limited time period through this link.
  13. ICICIDirect, there is no AMC (Annual Maintenance charges) for Demat Account for the first Year. However, charge of ₹300 (excluding taxes) is levied from 2nd year onwards.
  14. For a limited time period you can open a Free trading/demat account with ICICIDirect, although they do charges one time account opening fee of Rs.975. 
  15. Overall, ICICIDirect when compared on all parameters is better than Upstox as a broker.

Now, it is up to you to decide which one you choose as both have everything that is needed to trade and invest in stock market hassle free online.

ICICIDirect is a one stop solution for trading and investing in any financial instruments in India. It has everything setup at one place, if you open account with them there is no need to look for any extra service here and there.

Where as if you want to do all by yourself than Upstox is a better choice.

To open a Upstox 3-in-1 trading/demat/mutual fund, click on this link and get Rs.1000 brokerage credit with Zero AMC Charges for limited time period.

Click here to open an free trading/demat/Bank Account (optional) at ICICIDirect online within minutes

Now, let us go dive deep to cover all different services and features of Upstox and ICICIDirect step by step and see who is best between Upstox and ICICIDirect by doing in-depth analysis.


About Upstox Vs ICICI Direct:

Upstox is a discount broker whereas the ICICIDirect is a fulltime broker, Both are depository participant (DP) for both NSDL and CDSL.


About Upstox Vs ICICI Direct


Recently Upstox have announced building technology and platform to trade in US markets Whereas ICICIDirect have already announced launch of their Global Investment Platform last year 2020.

Now you can invest in your favorite brands listed in US markets and create an intelligent portfolio. Access to global markets helps diversify your portfolio and reduce overall risk.

Now that we know in brief about the Upstox and ICICI Direct let us compare them on other important factors below.


Upstox Vs ICICI Direct Margin Comparison:

Margin in stock market refers to buying/selling of securities (shares) by borrowing money from your broker. This is very much similar to taking loan for short period of time. This helps traders in buying or selling more with less money in intraday trading.

If you are an active trader or a beginner who knows what exactly going on with recent changes brought by SEBI, Higher Margin won’t be a factor anymore, now the competition among the broking industry is in terms of better trading platforms and lower brokerages plans.

The upfront margin collection in cash segment has been kept at flat 20%, which means now the leverage for all stocks would be 5x also the penalty provision for short-collection/ non-collection of upfront margin in cash segment.

This means regardless of any broker you won’t get more than 5X times margin in equity cash segment and in FNO you need to have the full margin span+exposure to take any position.

You can read more about it here.

Therefore, the margin or leverages offered will be equal irrespective of the stock brokers in India going forward. Keep in mind this also applies to Currency and commodity derivatives as well.

For example: if there is a 20% margin requirement on a particular stock, then you will have to pay only Rs.20 to buy a stock of Rs.100. Another way to look at it is that if you have Rs.100, you will be able to buy five stocks instead of one.

Hence, the margin requirement will be same for all brokers including Upstox and ICICI Direct for intraday trading in equites and derivatives.

One need to understand taking more margin means more risk and chances of your money getting wiped out is even more, so it is always advisable to use it in limited way.

So going forward please choose stock broker not in terms of margin or leverage as it is same for all brokers through out India.


Upstox Vs ICICI Direct Brokerages Comparison:

Brokerage is the most important factor when you trade and invest, both upstox and 5Paisa have quite low brokerages. Brokerage is something which as a trader and investor one should always be looking at before choosing the broker.

Let us first know about the brokerage of upstox,

You pay ₹20 /trade* or 0.05% (whichever is lower) for Intraday trading in Stocks, Future & Option, Currencies & Commodities. Whereas no brokerage at all for delivery based trades.

What they mean is, suppose you bought stock xyz priced at Rs.100, quantity 100 on intraday basis,

so the total turnover would be bought 100, sold 100(100*200)=  20,000 on this amount they will charge either whichever amount is lower as 0.05% of 20000, is Rs.10 so they will charge that instead of flat Rs.20.

Moreover for investing in mutual funds there are no brokerage or commission is charged at upstox at all.

Overall the brokerage charges at upstox are quite low and decent in comparison to other brokers.

To open a Upstox 3-in-1 trading/demat/mutual fund, click on this link and get Rs.1000 brokerage credit with Zero AMC Charges for limited time period.


ICICI Direct Brokerage Charges:

I think ICICIdirect have listened to the people demands and have slashed the brokerage in every segment. They have come up with new brokerage plan termed as NEO,

Here is the new brokerage structure as per ICICIdirect:

ICICI Direct NEO Plan Brokerage Charges Review:


ICICI Direct NEO Brokerage Plan Review


New brokerage would be @ ₹20 per order only. There would not be any brokerage on lots. 

Open your ICICI direct bank, Trading & Demat A/C Free With NEO Brokerage Plan Here


ICICIdirect Prime Brokerage Structure:

ICICIdirect Prime Membership Plan us the new addition this plan gives you.

  • More than 50% Brokerage reduction
  • Instant payout for your stocks sold (eATM)
  • Exclusive Research
  • Access to exclusive ‘Research content’ and ‘Website’ for all Prime cards
  • Complimentary ‘Bullet Plan’ i.e. Zero brokerage on intraday Stop Loss products for trades squared off within 5 minutes
  • Special reduced ‘Interest’ on delayed payments/MTF carry forward positions in Equity Margin Product
  • NCD/Bonds transactions along with penny stocks charged at a lower brokerage as that of cash


ICICIdirect Prime Membership Plan


Hence Upstox can be counted as winning the race in charging less brokerage from it’s customers.


Upstox Vs ICICI Direct Account Opening Charges:

No, it was not always the case, Icici direct used to charge for trading and demat account opening, however after facing tough competition from Zerodha as well as other discount brokerages such as 5Paisa, Fyers, upstox, they have decided to lure the customers with free 3 in 1 account, which is great by the way.

ICICI Direct offers 3-in-1 accounts which includes ICICI bank account, ICICI trading account, and ICICI demat account. The 3-in-1 trading account gives you the convenience of opening a demat, trading & bank account.

You can seamlessly trade in Shares, Futures & Options, Currencies, commodities, invest in Mutual Funds, IPOs and Life Insurance.

»»  Trading Account Opening Charges: Free for a limited time period
»»  Trading Account AMC: Free for a limited time period
»»  Demat Account Opening Charges: Free for a limited time period
»»  Demat Account AMC: Rs 300 PA (Waived for 1st year) Excluding taxes

However, if the Demat account is under Basic Service DEMAT Account (BSDA), no AMC is levied for holding value up to 50000.


ICICI Direct Trading and Demat Account Charges


Get additional benefits with ICICI Direct now:


icicidirect offers


Click here to open an free trading/demat/Bank Account (optional) at ICICIDirect online within minutes


The account opening charges at upstox depends on the plans you take.

For Retail Clients:

Demat and Trading account– You can choose from a plan of Rs 249 and get brokerage credit worth Rs 1000.

Keep in mind this charges are only a one time fee for opening the account as per your wish.

There will be a monthly maintenance charge of Rs 25 (excluding GST), which will be charged at the end of every month.

The AMC charges will be debited from your Trading a/c.

However, as a limited period offer you can open an trading demat and bank account for free in upstox and also Get additional benefits with Upstox when you open an account through this link.

  • Up to ₹20/order on Equity, F&O, Currency and Commodity
  • ₹0 demat account maintenance charge
  • ₹0 commissions on IPOs and Mutual Funds
  • ₹0 fund transfer charges via UPI


Upstox Vs ICICI Direct Account Opening Process Online:

The account opening process is online and it’s very seamless and smooth. Here is what you need to do:

To open an account with Upstox online, you can sign up using your mobile number through this link.

Similarly, to open an account with ICICI Direct just click on this and do the registration by entering your name, mobile no. and email.

You will receive an OTP to your number and you can get started with the process.

You will be required to enter your PAN, Bank account details and personal details to continue with the sign-up.

Once you sign up you need to upload certain documents listed below:

1. Your PAN card

2. Your Aadhaar

3. To complete the e Sign process, you will have to authenticate it with an OTP. So, make sure you have the number linked to your Aadhaar handy. If not, you will not be able to complete the process. If the number linked to your Aadhaar is inactive, or if you don’t have any number linked, then you can visit your nearest Aadhaar Seva Kendra to get it updated.

4. Cancelled cheque/Bank statement to link your bank account –
If your cheque is not personalized then the bank statement you upload should have both the IFSC and MICR code printed on it. If not then your application will be rejected. The bank statement has to be self-attested.

5. A photo or scanned copy of your signature proof will be required to be uploaded.

6. Income proof – It is mandatory to submit income proof if you wish to trade in Futures and options – Equity, Commodity, and Currency.

You can submit one of the below documents.

  1. Form-16
  2. Income tax returns acknowledgment
  3. 6-month Bank statement
  4. Latest salary slip
  5. Demat holding statement, or
  6. A CA certifying your net worth

Note: The documents mentioned are for a Resident Individual Account.


Upstox Vs ICICI Direct Trading Platform Comparison:

The most important part of any trading platform is the tools and resources it has to technical analysis. Upstox and ICICI Direct both has all the indicators and types of chart required to make it possible.


Upstox Vs ICICI Direct Trading Platform Comparison


Although in the image above I have mentioned that there are no API’s offered by ICICIDirect but with new  features getting launched by brokers every other day to be at a better position in comparison to other brokers, ICICIDirect have also launched Breeze.

You can build, backtest, and trade your strategy in live markets at zero cost with the most secure and simple to use API from ICICIdirect.

Whether you want to use:

MACD indicator

Bollinger Bands indicator

RSI indicator

Volume Indicator

Support and Resistance indicator

Different Candlestick patterns etc. you name the indicator and it will be there, so all in all Upstox and ICICI Direct has everything what is needed for a hassle-free trading platform. You can add- withdraw funds directly, create or back-test trading strategies and lot more.

The reason I am not involving all the features of different trading platform, because unnecessary post will be long, however you can read them in detail if you want here for Upstox trading platform for ICICI Direct trading platform.

Having said that Upstox trading platform offers much better user interface as well as they have many other services integrated within the platform such as Sensibull, small case, etc.

ICICIDirect have also tied up with third party service such as Sensibull for ready made options trading strategies and Smallcase. smallcases are the easiest way to buy & manage multiple portfolios of stocks/ETFs.

Overall, if you see Upstox trading platform user interface may be better but ICICIDirect has better features inbuilt.

Other than this ICICI direct recently announce launch of their Global Investment Platform. Below are some of the features:


icici direct option selling margin


Whereas Upstox is yet to launch their global investment platform in market.

So overall if you see, Upstox on one hand covers all the services a discount broker should have, on the other hand ICICI Direct being a full time broker offers all different financial services. 


My Opinion On Upstox Vs ICICI Direct:

I hope you have now thoroughly understood most of the services offered by Upstox and ICICI Direct, if you ask me in Upstox vs ICICI Direct who is better?

Upstox as an stockbroker has made its place in the Indian stock broker industry with their fast and efficient trading platforms, sophisticated charting software’s combined with speed and reliability as well ease of opening the account online paperless.

They are now at the top 2nd position in India for having the most active clients and can be trusted without any doubt.

The charges and brokerages are very much reasonable in comparison to other brokers, if you are thinking of opening a trading/demat/mutual fund combined account, than do not put any second thought.

If I have to rate upstox overall as an leading discount broker I will give it 9.3 out of 10, So, go ahead and open an account now there is nothing to lose its a win-win deal.

To open an account with Upstox right away click on this link.

Whereas if we talk about ICICI Direct it is more suitable for trading, investment and banking purpose.

However with the new brokerage structure that ICICIdirect have launched and slashed the brokerages now you can do intraday trading without worrying about much higher brokerage charges like previously.

If I have to rate the ICICI Direct in comparison with Upstox, I will give 9.5 out of 10.

Moreover there are no charges for opening an account as of now with ICICI Direct so nothing to lose. So don’t wait, go ahead and open an account now with ICICI Direct. There is no better deal you can get apart from ICICIDirect as an full-time broker.

So, all in all It really depends on what exactly are you looking to do, ICICIDirect is like a supermarket where you will find everything related to financials services, where as Upstox as of now is only dedicated towards intraday trading and investing in stock market.

If you are a beginner in trading and investing, please read this amazing guide on How stock market works in India?

Learn the basics of option trading step by step here.

You can check my review on 5Paisa ,Zerodha vs 5paisa here

6 Reasons Why ETF Going To Be Next Big Thing In India

If, you have liked the content please do share it with your friends or on social media, as sharing do bring the good karma. If you have any questions or feedback you can leave them in comment box below.

Note: Please do your own research and make investment. Moneycontain will not be responsible for any of your losses at all. The point made is for educational purpose only and intended to give information. All investments are subject to risks, which should be considered prior to making any investments.

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