PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Citizens Bank, the thrift subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, said it would lower the rate on some Visa cards to 11.5% on Sept. 30.

The cut, for cards on which Citizens instituted a "no annual fee" policy in May, will apply to balances incurred before April 1 until they are repaid.

The current rate is 14.5%.

Citizens is trying to outpoint its larger rival, Fleet National Bank, which had announced an 11.9% rate from Oct. 1 to Jan. 31 and the waiver of annual fees for new accounts. Both institutions are trying to attract Christmas-season spending.

Another Citizens product, a Visa card with a $20 annual fee, is to remain at 15.9%.

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