Google offers credit cards to AdWords advertisers in UK, US

The credit card issued to businesses cannot be used for other purchases

Google is introducing in the U.K., and extending to more businesses in the U.S. a credit card to pay for spending on advertising through its AdWords program, the company said on Sunday.

The expansion of the credit card program follows a pilot with over 1,400 businesses in the U.S. In a survey conducted after the pilot was launched, 74 percent of respondents said they use the AdWords Business Credit card as their primary form of AdWords payment, Google vice president and treasurer Brent Callinicos wrote in a blog post.

The move by Google to offer credit to advertisers appears to be in line with the financing schemes some IT companies offer customers for large IT purchases through their financing arms, helping increase their business.

The focus of the Google program is on small and medium-size businesses to give them more flexibility and extra credit, Callinicos said.

The company started inviting businesses in the U.K. to join the program from Sunday, and will also extend more invitations to the program this month in the U.S.

On its U.K. site Google said that not all businesses could apply. "Eligible customers will receive an invitation with a personalized application ID," it added.

Google has tied with Barclaycard, part of the Barclays group, in the UK and Comenity Capital Bank in the US to issue the cards which are both from MasterCard. The cards will not have annual fees, and they will both have "an ample credit limit" for AdWords, Google said. The company has provided a summary of the features of the card including charges in the U.K.

The AdWords Business Credit card can however be used only for AdWords advertising purchases. Merchants will receive information of their credit limit in a package welcoming them to the program. In the U.K. the minimum credit limit is £500 (US$800) with the maximum credit limit varying.

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John Ribeiro

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