What makes FestPlus the better fixed deposit

4 min 204

Since the start of the interest rate turnaround in July 2022, over 180 billion euros have flown into fixed-term deposits in Germany. With two-year fixed-term deposits, you can currently enjoy an average of 2.64% interest per year (as of February 14, 2024). This makes fixed deposit accounts a sensible addition to daily savings in the current interest rate environment, as one can secure an attractive interest rate for the long term.

However, fixed-term deposits also have their downsides, as it is often very difficult or impossible to access the money during the term. At the same time, interest rates have continued to rise sharply over the last few months, which means that people who opted for a fixed-term deposit 12 months ago would receive significantly more attractive interest rates if they took out one today. As with call money, banks are not known for passing on the highest possible interest rates for fixed-term deposits. This is why we have developed FestPlus, a smart alternative to conventional fixed-term deposits that invests the money in a broadly diversified manner on the bond market and thus generates a higher return. This is combined with greater flexibility, as you can access the money at any time and even use it to make payments if you wish.

How does FestPlus work?

FestPlus is an alternative to the traditional fixed-term deposit offered by banks, developed via the bond market. FestPlus has a fixed term until September 2027 and fully pays back the invested money at the end of the term. In addition, you can look forward to interest distributions during the term, which are invested directly into FestPlus to maximize profits from the compound interest effect. Currently, an annual return of 3.80% (as of February 14, 2024) can be generated, which is around 1% above the average fixed-term deposit offer in Germany.

The advantage over CashPlus, the overnight deposit 2.0: Fixed repayment creates planning security, and one can lock in the current interest rate level until September 2027, regardless of future interest rate movements.

The aim with FestPlus is therefore to keep the money invested until the end of the term, as this allows you to take full advantage of the earnings performance. However, if you need the money earlier or find other investment options more attractive, you can cancel FestPlus in full or in part at any time without any onerous additional conditions.

How does FestPlus differ from traditional fixed-term deposits?

With classic fixed-term deposits, the money is invested with a bank. In return, the bank pays a corresponding interest rate. FestPlus, on the other hand, activates the yield strength of the bond market and thus scores with a higher average return and more flexibility.

FestPlus

Fixed deposit

Investment

Investment in a broad range of over 400 bonds to make the most of the interest rate environment

Bank deposits

Interest rate

Currently 3.80% p.a. (as of February 13, 2024). If the interest rate environment changes during the term, the daily price of FestPlus may fluctuate, but at the end of the term the yield is the same as at the time of purchase

There is currently an average interest rate of 2.64% p.a. for three-year fixed-term deposits (as of February 14, 2024)

Security of interest earnings

Fully given, provided that FestPlus is held to maturity and none of the bonds default during the term

Interest is fixed at the start of the investment, but usually has to be repaid in full if the investment is closed prematurely

Duration

Until September 2027, then paid out in full

Depending on the term, from a few months to several years

Minimum and maximum amount

No ancillary conditions and restrictions

Varies from bank to bank

Safety

The money is held as special assets and is therefore fully protected against insolvency on our part or that of our partner bank

In the event of the bank’s insolvency, the statutory deposit protection applies up to €100,000

Costs

An annual fee of 0.62% is charged on the investment amount for all UnitPlus services and the bonds

Account management fees and costs for early termination, if applicable

Flexibility

If your initial situation changes, you can sell FestPlus at any time on working days and access it worldwide with your UnitPlus bank card

Normally, early payment is not possible or only possible with large discounts

What are the risks and opportunities?

If you invest your money in FestPlus, you can expect the current yield to maturity until the end of the term. As of today, this is 3.80% (February 13, 2024), provided that no bond in which FestPlus invests defaults. In principle, this is unlikely. At the same time, with FestPlus no single bond can account for more than 3% of the investment amount, which represents an additional safety mechanism. By comparison, if money is invested in a traditional fixed-term deposit offered by a bank and this bank gets into payment difficulties, only the deposit protection of up to €100,000 applies.

The early sale of the investment before the end of the term is possible at any time and increases flexibility. The UnitPlus bank card can also be used at any time. However, a changing interest rate environment can lead to an interest rate risk, which in the worst case can result in a loss within the term. This risk does not exist if no default of any bond will occur during the timespan (the so called credit risk) and if you keep FestPlus until the end of the term in September 2027. We point this out in the app and provide you with the right decision-making aid.

Summary

FestPlus is particularly suitable if you can do without the money until September 2027, want to receive an attractive return, and appreciate the additional flexibility. At the same time, FestPlus can easily be combined with other investment strategies, such as CashPlus, directly in our app.

Risk warning

This article is not intended as an investment recommendation. Nor does it recommend the purchase or sale of financial instruments. There are risks associated with capital market investments that can lead to a total loss. Historical performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Fabian Mohr