NEW YORK - Citicorp plans to announce today a cut in interest rates for its best credit card customers, said James Bailey, executive vice president of the company's North American consumer bank unit.
The annual rates on Citicorp's "preferred" Visa and MasterCard cards will be cut to 13.4%, from 13.9%, and on "classic" cards to 15.4%, from 15.9%.
Citicorp reassesses its adjustable card rates at the end of each quarter.
After a demonstration of automated teller machines designed for the disabled, Mr. Bailey said 1.7 million customers, in addition to the previous eight to nine million, have qualified for the lower rates by meeting timely-payment and similar criteria.
Mr. Bailey said Citicorp's move in April to offer different rates to different cardholders has stimulated business. helping Citicorp retain customers and attract new ones.
He said consumer delinquencies, in both credit cards and mortgages. have stabilized and are slightly down in certain regions, such as the Northeast and Midwest. California delinquencies have risen.
Mr. Bailey said that despite credit problems in its mortgage unit, "we are still doing a reasonably high volume of refinancings. We are not sitting on the sidelines."