RIVERWOODS, Ill. -- Sears, Roebuck and Co. announced the first reduction of the interest rate on its Discover credit card.

Early next year, Sears will offer a "best" rate of 15.9%, tied to the prime, on balances of new cardholders and those who charged more than $1,000 over the past year.

Stayed with 19.8% Rate

Sears had been the last of the leading credit card issuers to maintain a high rate - 19.8% - for all cardholders during the recent slide in market rates.

Discover based its marketing appeal on cash rebates and no annual fee, but there were reports of a decline in volume.

Under the revised policy, Discover customers who charged $500 to $999 over the past year would pay 17.9%, while those charging less than $500 would still pay 19.8%.

Discover is a product of the Dean Witter Financial Services Group, which Sears has announced its intention to spin off in a bid to raise capital for its traditional merchandising business.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.