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Google will offer U.S. clients an AdWords Business credit card (above pictured is not actual AdWords credit card)  (Source: mooseontheloose.co.uk)
Google's AdWords Business credit card aims to help small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. fund ad campaigns that they may not have the cash for, but these business can only buy search advertising on Google

With Facebook rocking the online advertising world, and a partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo adding an extra edge, Google has to step its game up to stay competitive. Now, it's doing just that by offering the AdWords Business credit card to U.S. clients.

Google's AdWords Business credit card aims to help small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. fund ad campaigns that they may not have the cash for, and Google wins by gaining extra revenue in the online ad market.

Google's new credit card is a MasterCard that will be issued through the World Financial Capital Bank, and will have a 8.99 percent annual percentage rate. This is an ongoing rate and not an introductory rate. It offers an "ample" credit line and no annual fee. Google will determine the minimum and maximum credit lines for each cardholder by consulting a financial partner.

Google will offer the AdWords Business credit card to select businesses in an invite-only beta test. Those who receive the credit card can buy search advertising, but only on Google.

"Obviously we have a robust balance sheet, so this is a way for us to use that balance sheet to help our customers," said Brent Callinicos, Google's Treasurer, in reference to Google's $39.1 billion in cash and marketable securities announced as of June 30. "It isn't a financial engineering project that we came up with and said this would be cool to do. It's a customer need."

While cash-strapped businesses can benefit from the extra help, Google is sure to benefit as well. Other companies like Amazon and Macy's have offered credit cards for years to increase company purchases as well as customer loyalty.

One credit card benefit that Google's is lacking, according to Reuters, is the potential to gain airline miles with purchases. But Google believes clients will be drawn to the card regardless of that missing feature.

"I think if you had the choice of an 18 percent credit card and miles versus an 8.99 percent credit card and no miles, it's a pretty easy choice," said Callinicos.

The AdWords Business credit card offer will be emailed to select businesses, but Google has not specified how many.




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