Zerodha Vs Upstox Review, Comparison – The Race For Top 2 Stock Broker In India

  • Post last modified:April 19, 2021
  • Post category:Stock Market
  • Reading time:19 mins read
  • Post author:

In this Zerodha Vs Upstox Review and comparison we will try to find out why they are the top 2 stock brokers in India, and how are there brokerage, trading platform, charges, margin structure and other services makes them apart from other stock brokers.

By the way if you want you can read the separate review in detail of both brokers Zerodha & Upstox. But before we start talking about Upstox and Zerodha, I want to talk in brief about ICICIdirect, reason being the downfall of it. Once upon a time the leading stock broker of India, who has secured the tag of being No.1 stockbroker, ICICIdirect has sunk to third place now in terms of total active client according to NSE latest Feb 28,2021 data.

ICICI Direct have hold the top position for a long period of time until the Zerodha dethroned them in last 3 years. I am ready to give credit to zerodha for their hard work put as they have reached to the top position. Likewise, Upstox has build it own place in stockbroking industry and now have replaced the ICICIdirect from being at second position.

According to the latest NSE data, Zerodha is at the top with more than 3.3 million active clients to be precise, 33,91,056 whereas Upstox hold the second position with more than 1.9 million active clients approx. 19,60,861 on the other hand ICICIdirect is now fall to third place with more than 1.4 million active clients approx. 14,35,356.

I do not want to go in why ICICIdirect has lost the strong position it hold for several years, there are many other banks in India who offers the broking services, but ICICI is at the top amongst them due the major changes they do internally time to time.

For example with growing competition recently they have made several changes in high brokerages they used to charge earlier, you can read more about it here in detail review of ICICIdirect. Leaving aside that, let’s talk about Zerodha Vs Upstox and compare these top 2 brokers in India offering wide range of services in detail.


About Zerodha Vs Upstox:

Before we dig deeper to understand the various services offered it becomes utmost import to know in brief about Zerodha and Upstox history.


About Zerodha Vs Upstox


Zerodha and Upstox both are depository participant (DP) for both NSDL and CDSL. Zerodha is about to launch their own lending platform to provide loans but the dates are not announced as of now.

Moreover, Upstox and Zerodha both are about to launch international trading facility and users will be able to invest and trade in US stock market as well, this may happen in mid 2021.



Zerodha Vs Upstox Margin Comparison:

As a matter of great concern for many traders as well as brokers, due to SEBI New Rules For Intraday Margin From December 2020 intraday exposure to get limited in forthcoming months i.e. from December 2020 onwards, I do not find any point discussing the margin offered by both anymore.

The crux of the matter in simple terms is the margin or leverage that many brokers used to give it to their clients for intraday products such as in equity cash segment or futures and option (Equity, Currency, Commodities) segment  will be exponentially reduced and be equal for all brokers.

As of now you as an intraday trader might have enjoyed higher leverages offered by many stock brokers, there was no limit as a matter of fact few brokers which I do not want to name have been giving out 200 to 300 times leverage in equity and up to 100 times leverage in fno.

So, instead of offering advanced or best trading platforms, lower brokerages, better customer service experience or easy online user interface to clients they were selling margin as feature. 

Can you believe the risk in this not only from the broker but from a trader perspective, it is a systemic risk for entire industry. In order to control that fanatic SEBI has to come out with these kind of stricter restrictions.

Which says going forward i.e. from December 01, 2020 to September 2021, in a phased manner the margin will get reduce systematically. Here are the details for the same:

Dec 2020- Feb 2021: Penalty if margin used <25% of VAR+ELM

Mar 2021- May 2021: Penalty if margin used <50% of VAR+ELM

June 2021- Aug 2021: Penalty if margin used <75% of VAR+ELM

Aug 2021 onwards: Penalty if margin used < VAR+ELM

Until Dec, 01 2020 nothing changes, after that every 3 months intraday leverages or margin keep reducing and post September, 01, 2021, there will be no additional margin apart from VAR+ELM for equity and SPAN+EXPOSURE for FNO.

The entire initial margin which is SPAN+Exposure for F&O, and VAR+ELM for equity, has to be collected upfront before taking a trade, even if it is an intraday trade including (MIS, BO, & CO).

You can read in detail about What is VAR+ELM and What is Span+Exposure? here.

These type of intraday products were being offered with additional leverage by the entire broking industry until now.

However, the calculation to give leverage according to the var+elm is quite cumbersome, as every stock has different var+elm, to make it simple the sebi proposed to collect a minimum of VAR+ELM or 20% of trade value has to be collected from the customer upfront before a trade, even for an intraday trade.

Since almost all stocks have VAR+ELM greater than 20%, this essentially means that the maximum intraday leverage that can be provided for stocks is 20% of trade value or 5X times.

Whereas for FNO you need to pay the entire span+exposure margin, which by the way is total margin require for a carryover position (overnight). Having said that there is still plenty of time as this will be done in phased manner

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.

However, this will get implemented in a phased manner from Dec, 1,2020 till Sep, 2021, so no need to worry as of now. As a matter of caution I always says every trader to remember that the margin is a double edge sword, the more you take the more riskier your trade becomes. So, it is always advisable to use the margin but in limited way.

Check out the below to know the margin/leverage/exposure offered by zerodha and upstox right now after the phase 1 implementation of SEBI rules.

Which in simple term means:

Maximum of 20 times until Feb 2021

Maximum of 10x from Mar to May 2021

Maximum of 7x from Jun to Aug 2021

Maximum of 5x from Sep 2021 onwards

Above are rough estimates only, it may be more or less similar. check the complete VAR+ELM list here. With 10x leverage, if you have 10k in your account your purchasing power becomes 100k, with 5x leverage it comes down to 50k, so you will have to adjust accordingly.

Margins will increase for Option writing as well, margin requirements will be as below:

  • 25%(4X) of the SPAN + Exposure margins until Feb 2021
  • 50%(2X) of the SPAN + Exposure margins until from Mar to May 2021
  • 75%(1.33X) of the SPAN + Exposure margins until Jun to Aug 2021
  • Full SPAN + Exposure margins from Sep 2021

From 1st Dec 2020, intraday FnO positions needs a margin requirement of 25% of 1L, which is 25,000 for intraday FnO position. This requirement goes-up to 100% of FULL span + exposure margin or full 1L from Sep 2021.

Keep in mind this also applies to Currency and commodity derivatives as well.

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


Zerodha Vs Upstox Brokerages Comparison:

Brokerage is something which as a trader and investor one should always be looking at before choosing the broker. Both the brokers Zerodha and upstox somewhat have similar brokerage structure, however when you compare them Zerodha brokerages are little lower than Upstox.

Checkout in the image below:

Zerodha Brokerage Charges:


Zerodha Review On Brokerages


Zerodha brokerage is what make them ahead in the game, as you can see there is no charge for taking delivery of the trades to your Demat account. Whereas for intraday trades across equity, currency, commodity, it is flat Rs.20 or 0.03% (whichever is lower).

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 0.03% of 20000, is Rs.6 so they will charge that instead of flat Rs.20.


Upstox Brokerage Charges:

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 but Zerodha brokerages are still lower in comparison to Upstox.



Zerodha Vs Upstox Trading and Demat Account Opening Charges:

If we talk about the trading and Demat account opening charges both zerodha and upstox does charges a one time fee, however Upstox charges are less in comparison to zerodha if you want to open accounts in very segment i.e. Equity, FNO, Currency & Commodities.


Zerodha Vs Upstox Trading and Demat Account Opening Charges:


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

Free Equity Delivery Trades
Unlimited Brokerage* Credit for 30 days
Upstox Vs ICICI Direct - 9 Unbiased Comparison Points To Know Who Is Better?
Click on the image to open free account now


Trust me there are no other broker giving such great offer that too for free, so you have nothing to lose at all, it’s a win-win situation.


Zerodha Vs Upstox Account Opening Process Online:

The account opening process is online hassle-free and paper less for both stockbroker’s and it’s very seamless and smooth.

Here is what you need to do:

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

Similarly, to open an account with Upstox 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.
Income tax returns acknowledgment
6-month Bank statement
Latest salary slip
Demat holding statement, or
A CA certifying your net worth

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


No.1 broker in india


Zerodha Vs Upstox Trading Platform Comparison:

The most important factor to consider before opening an account with any broker is trading tools and software’s it has to offers its clients. Both Zerodha and Upstox have best trading platform for each devices (Desktop/mobile).


Zerodha Vs Upstox Trading Platform Comparison


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

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 Zerodha and Upstox 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 Zerodha trading platform review for Upstox trading platform review.

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

Whereas recently Upstox have also signed up with Sensibull for option trading strategies and Smallcase for investment in funds. Here is the thing with Upstox you get 3-in 1 account i.e. trading/demat/bank for free so you Upstox is much better for people who not only do intraday trade but make other investments, such as investment in ELSS, PPF, Mutual Fund, SIP’s, FD, RD, ETF’s etc., or looking for Loans or credit cards, Insurance etc.



The ratings on play store for upstox mobile app is 4.4 which is much better than any other broker including Zerodha Kite App.


upstox pro mobile app review
Upstox Mobile App Rating on Play Store



Zerodha Mobile App Rating On Google Play Store
Zerodha Mobile App Rating On Google Play Store


With Upstox Pro mobile app you can make the most of stock market investment and trading. Apart from this upstox  and Zerodha both also has an API for developers who wants to create their own platform in programming languages such as python.

Overall, if you see Zerodha desktop/web trading platform is little better than Upstox in comparison. Whereas incase of Mobile App Upstox is better in comparison to Zerodha Kite Mobile App.


Zerodha Vs Upstox Other Charges Comparison:

Zerodha Intraday Auto Square-off Timings:

Equity/Cash is 3:20PM (10 minutes before market close)

Equity Derivatives is 3:25 PM (5 minutes before market close)

Currency Derivatives is 4:45 PM

For Commodities it is 25 minutes before Close

Upstox Intraday Auto Square-off Timings:

Square-off Timing At Upstox for all MIS/BO/CO orders by yourself anytime before 3:20 p.m. for Equity and F&O. 4:45 p.m. for Currency derivatives and 11 p.m. for MCX segment via Upstox trading platform.

Call and Trade Charges At Upstox?

Upstox offers you to place order by call and trade which will be charged Rs.20+GST per order through phone and you can modify an order as many times you want to during a day.

Call and Trade Charges At Zerodha?

Zerodha offers you to place order by call and trade which will be charged Rs.50 per order through phone and you can modify an order as many times you want to during a day.

Fund Withdrawal Timing At Upstox?

If you wish to withdraw funds, you can put a request from our Upstox trading platform or from our Back office portal, from which you can simply place a request for your withdrawal.

Withdrawal request should be placed before 8:45 am for the funds to be transferred on the same day else it will be done on the next day at Upstox.

Fund Withdrawal Timing At Zerodha?

If you wish to withdraw funds, you can put a request from your Zerodha trading platform or from your Back office portal, from which you can simply place a request for your withdrawal.

Withdrawals requests placed before 8:30 PM (for equity) and 8:00 AM (for commodity) on working days are processed on the same day.


upstox free account opening


Other than above charges there are certain specific charges charged by every broker and remains equal among all brokers.

  1. STT- The Securities Transaction Tax is a direct tax levied on every purchase and sale of securities.
  2. Transaction charges- This is a charge levied by the exchange on every transaction placed.
  3. Clearing charges- This is a charge levied by the exchange for clearing the trade.
  4. GST- A Goods & Services rate of 18% is levied on every purchase and sale transaction of securities.
  5. State stamp duty- This duty is levied on the value of shares transferred and varies as per the individual state.
  6. SEBI turnover fees- This fee is charged by SEBI on the purchase and sale of all securities.


Zerodha Vs Upstox Other Services Comparison:

Apart from giving option to invest and trade in equity, derivatives, currency, commodity, IPO’s of stock market, both zerodha and upstox give a separate mutual fund investment platform to its users for free.


Zerodha Review on Coin Platform

Zerodha Coin Mutual Fund Investment Platform:

This year in Feb, 2020 zerodha applied for mutual fund license as well, In the forth coming months you would see zerodha pioneering in asset management companies(AMC) as well.

They have also launched a dedicated platform by the name COIN, where one can invest in different mutual funds directly, without any commission.

Which means that finally you don’t have to pay up to 1.5% and 1% every year commission to the distributor/platform where you purchased the fund. These % commissions over a longer period of time compound and can become significantly big.

Want to know how much you will get after every month of investing in any mutual fund scheme than check moneycontain monthly mutual fund calculator here.

Upstox Mutual Fund Investment Platform:

Investing in mutual funds whether through a regular SIP or Lumpsum investment can be done easily using upstox mutual fund platform and it is free for use.


Upstox Mutual Fund Investment Platform


There are direct as well as regular funds to choose from, you can also filter and see different categories and types of funds. You can make investment in this mutual fund with as low as Rs.500 per month. There are lot of options available to make comparison with historical data about the different funds and its growth.

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

So overall if you see, Zerodha on one hand covers all the services a discount broker should have, on the other hand Upstox have made sure not to leave any stone unturned to grab the no.1 position from Zerodha.

Having said that, only time will tell who wins this race of becoming best and top stockbroker in India.


My Opinion On Zerodha Vs Upstox:

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

Zerodha in itself is the universe, whether you are a beginner or experience trader and investor, zerodha has all resources set at one place for you.

Expressing my opinion in terms of all technological tools, advanced platforms, robust management I would rate Zerodha 8.9 out of 10. 

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

On the other hand 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 second 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 any other brokers, if you are thinking of opening a trading/Demat/mutual fund/Bank combined account, than do not put any second thought.

So, if you are more of a trader making intraday trades on daily basis and looking for other segments such as Fixed deposits (FD), Recurring deposits (RD), PPF, ELSS, Loans like personal loan, home loan, insurance etc. than you should go with Upstox without any doubt.

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

If I have to rate upstox overall as an leading discount broker I will give it 8.9 out of 10,

Moreover there are no charges for opening an account as of now with Upstox so nothing to lose. So don’t wait, go ahead and open an account now with Upstox.



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.

Also, do checkout moneycontain inflation calculator to know how much inflation make an impact on your savings and investment here.

Looking for fixed monthly income than Post office monthly scheme calculator can definitely solve your problem.

Are you using Credit cards than do check moneycontain credit card emi calculator and know minimum amount due with interest instantly.

Want to know how much you need to save and invest in order to achieve your financial goal, than do check moneycontain savings goal calculator.

You can check my review on 5Paisa, Fyers Review here

You can also check my comparison for Zerodha vs 5paisa here , Zerodha vs Fyers Here

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.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Leave a Reply