High street bank Halifax has today launched two new best-buy balance transfer credit cards, offering the joint-longest 0% period and the longest-ever fee-free deal.

A balance transfer card essentially pays off your debt on existing credit and store cards, so you owe it instead, but at 0% interest. This means your repayments clear the debt rather than just interest, so you're debt-free quicker.

The new Halifax cards comprise one offering up to 43 months 0%, with a fee of 3.28% to shift your debt, and another with up to 26 months 0%, with no fee.

The launch continues the tussle for the top positions in the balance transfer tables, which has seen several new deals launch in the past few weeks.

Check out our Balance Transfer Credit Cards guide for full info on what's currently available.

Joint longest-ever balance transfer card

The new Halifax long balance-transfer card (eligibility calc / apply*) offers up to 43 months at 0%, the joint longest-ever interest-free period on a balance transfer card, though poorer credit scorers could be accepted and offered fewer 0% months.

This compares with MBNA's up to 43mth card (eligibility calc / apply*), which has an ever-so-slightly higher fee of 3.29% to transfer your debt. That one also comes with £20 cashback if you transfer £1,000+, so could prove a better option than the Halifax card if you've that much to shift.

Whichever you choose, make sure you clear it by the end of the 0% period, or they jump to 18.9% or 20.9% APR respectively.

For more options, including cards that offer just one or two fewer 0% months for lower fees, see our Balance Transfer Credit Cards guide.

Longest-ever fee-free balance transfer card

If you're confident you can clear your debt in less time (or are willing to transfer again when your 0% period ends), then another good option is Halifax's second new deal.

Halifax's latest fee-free balance transfer card (eligibility calc / apply*) offers up to 26 months at 0%.

It is the longest fee-free balance transfer card ever offered – though you could be accepted and offered fewer 0% months.

The golden rules of 0% balance transfer cards

If you want to get one of the new Halifax cards, make sure you always follow the balance transfer golden rules:

  • Never miss or be late paying at least the monthly minimum, or you can lose the 0% deal (never exceed the credit limit either).
  • Clear the card or balance-transfer again before the 0% ends, or the rate rockets to the higher APR.
  • Don't spend or withdraw cash on these. It usually isn't at the cheap rate and cash withdrawals hit your credit file.
  • Balance transfers must usually be done within 60/90 days of taking the card out to get the 0% deal.