American Express Co. announced on Thursday a cut of 50 basis points in interest rates for its Optima card.

Optima's "best" customers will now pay 12% on outstanding balances. These cardholders must have been in the Optima program for one year, spent at least $1,000 with the card, and kept payments current over the last 12 months.

Cardholders who have had Optima less than one year or have not spent $1,000 will pay 14.25%.

Rate Higher for Some

Those whose accounts have not been in good standing will pay 18.25%.

American Express reassess its Optima rates each April and October. The rates are based on the prime on the last business day of January and July.

Citicorp, the country's largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa cards, also reduced some card rates on Thursday.

Its best accounts will pay 13.4% to 15.4%.

Citicorp reassess its adjustable rates at the end of each quarter.

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