In an effort to increase their advertising revenue and stay at the top of the online ad market, Google is offering some advertisers a credit card. Currently, it is only being offered to U.S. clients and only a “select few.” The catch is that you can only use the credit card to purchase search advertising.
The AdWords Business credit card is the first such venture by Google into vendor financing. It’s pretty common among some computer hardware manufacturers, such as IBM.
It is supposed to give marketers the chance to spend more on search advertising when the need arises. The VP of global online sales at Google, Claire Johnson, said that the card was specially designed to help small and medium sized businesses to find the funding they need to support a heavy ad campaign.
For example, some marketers may want to promote their website at Christmas time. Many of these companies operate on limited advertising budgets and Google believes that the card will help.
Of course, there’s a revenue aspect for Google, as well. The card carries an annual percentage rate of 8.99 percent. That is not an introductory rate, either, but the ongoing rate, according to Google.
There’s also of info that Google isn’t giving out just yet, though, such as the minimum and maximum credit lines. Google does say that those will vary according to the cardholder. There is no reference to how many people will be offered the card, either.
This money making opportunity for Google comes as the company’s stash of cash continues to grow. As of June 30 this year, Google had $39.1 billion in cash and securities. Google doesn’t payout dividend or buy back shares.
Google’s take on it is that they “have a robust balance sheet, so this is a way for us to use that balance sheet to help our customers.”