Google on Wednesday sent out invites to a select U.S. clients to sign up for a new "Google AdWords Business credit card". The card will initially be available as a "beta" test, available to select users.
Google is offering the credit card with what it calls a competitive interest rate, an ample credit line and no annual fee. The catch: it can only be used to buy search advertising on Adwords, reports Reuters.
The AdWords card is a MasterCard that will be issued through the World Financial Capital Bank. The card's 8.99 percent annual percentage rate is the ongoing rate, and not an introductory rate, Google said.
Claire Johnson, vice president of global online sales at Google, said the credit card was designed to help small and medium-sized businesses that advertise on Google but who often don't have the funds to support a heavy ad campaign ahead of a big sales season, such as Valentine's day or Halloween. "They are resource-constrained and they are often cash flow-strapped. Many of them are trying to grow a business without the kind of means that, say, your classic company has," she said.
Google is keeping quiet on many of the other details, including the minimum and maximum credit lines available (Google says it will vary by cardholder) and the number of people to whom the card will be offered.
Brent Callinicos, Google's Treasurer, said that the credit card will be offered to a "statistically significant" number of people as Google examines the results of how availability of the card affects customer spending behavior.
"Even though (availability) will skew toward the smaller businesses, obviously we want to cast a wide enough net so we can see what resonates depending on your historical monthly spend," said Callinicos.
Google will evaluate customers' creditworthiness through a combination of internal efforts and with the help of a financial partner, he said.