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Google dips into vendor financing with new AdWords MasterCard Credit Card

mastercard by Håkan Dahlström via FlickrGoogle is introducing a new AdWords business credit card to some of the search engine’s U.S. clients. The card will have an ongoing rate of 8.99% and no annual fee, but customers will only be able to use their credit line to buy search advertising from Google.

An exclusive Reuters report points out that the new AdWords credit card “marks Google’s first foray into the world of vendor financing.” This is a move that adds the search giant in the ranks of companies such as IBM corp. as well as consumer-oriented companies such as Amazon and Macy’s who offer cards to track spending habits and build loyalty.

The AdWords credit cards are MasterCards being issued by the World Financial Capital Bank, with a 8.99 ongoing annual percentage rate (not introductory). It’s rumored that credit line will be attractive with no annual fee, but details are being kept quiet about the specifics of available credit lines or how many cards will be offered in total. Credit cards will initially be available as a “beta test” and will be sent out Wednesday to select customers.

The card is designed to help out the ad budgets for small and medium-sized business during expansion or certain sales pushes such as holidays. Availability of the card will favor companies with these sizes, though Google representatives say that the company will cast a wide net in order to examine how availability of the card affects spending.

Google treasurer Brent Callinicos said, “Google will evaluate customers’ creditworthiness through a combination of internal efforts and with the help of a financial partner.”

Reuters also points out that the introduction of the new credit card is an effort to drum up more business as the Mountain View search giant sees pressing competition from companies like Facebook as well as the Microsoft and Yahoo alliance.