Google Partners To Offer AdWords-Specific Credit Card

At a time when small businesses may have trouble getting access to credit, Google is partnering with banks in the U.S. and U.K. to offer credit cards that can only be used to buy AdWords advertising.

The company has been piloting the AdWords Business Credit program since July in the U.S. and says 1400 small businesses are already signed up. In a survey conducted after the pilot launched, Google said 74% of participants were using the MasterCard as their primary method of paying for AdWords.

In the UK, where Google is partnering with Barclayscard, the card will have a variable 11.9% APR Representative. In the U.S., where Comenity Capital Bank is the partner, rates will range from 8.99% to 18.99%, depending on creditworthiness. Neither card will have annual fees, and Google says the credit limit will be “ample.”

Rather than allowing AdWords customers to apply for the card, Google will be extending invitations via email to select advertisers, who will receive an application with a personalized ID.

Many consumer-facing retailers offer “store cards” that can be used only on their products, Google may be the first online advertising vendor that’s offering such a program for small businesses.

The company is opening up the program in the U.K. this week and will be extending invitations to additional U.S. businesses later this month.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords


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  • Jordan McClements

    In the UK it is “Barclaycard” .

    It would be worth doing if they gave you cashback on the card…

  • Alan

    Wow now they can charge you interest on the ads they sell you!! Google never letting a money making opportunity to slip through its fingers!

  • Mary Kay Lofurno

    Its like Amazon, in the sense they act as the warehouse and supply chain for their merchants. Amazon has taken it further in that they now offer their merchants small business loans…

    So I am not surprised. In fact, there was an article on SEW about why Google might become a bank.

    I believe in capitalism we call it diversification with vertical or horizontal integration. This is similar to the vertical integration practiced by the big entrepreneurs of the “Robber Barons” era in the United States.

    Think Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie who grew their empires by buying adjacent businesses or companies that were part of the supply chain their product was in..

    Nothing new under the sun here. Nice article. Thanks, Mary Kay

  • Mark Hughes

    Pretty cool idea for startups who lack that extra bit of capital to get their business going. However, they will need to make 100% sure that they have somebody qualified and experienced managing their accounts. Great idea though in my opinion – Google will always get criticised for making money, however to me this seems like a fair compromise if they give people an opportunity to start driving targeted traffic to their site.

  • Xurxo Vidal

    Makes sense that Google would go this route.

    I imagine that some of these cards will come with a rewards system where cardholders can benefit from AdWords credits they can apply towards their AdWords accounts after hitting certain spend amounts.

    Interesting way to get discounted clicks…

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