Google Launches AdWords Credit Card for UK SMBs, Expands in U.S.

Earlier this week, Google extended the AdWords program that offers advertisers a credit card with rates of 8.99 to 18.99 percent. Now, SMBs in the UK are eligible to apply... if they’ve received an invitation.

Google also plans to extend more invitations to U.S. SMBs later this month. The AdWords credit card was introduced in the U.S. in July 2011. Those without an invitation will have to wait:

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The card is offered through Barclaycard in the UK and Comenity Capital Bank in the U.S. The AdWords MasterCard and can be made the primary form of payment, or the backup credit card, on an AdWords account. It cannot be used for purchases outside of the AdWords program and will be declined should an advertiser try to use it elsewhere.

Interest rates in the UK will be variable at 11.9 percent APR Representative, while the U.S. will be at 8.99 percent. The APR is lower than basic credit card rates, and neither card will have an annual fee. There are additional charges for returned payments, late payments, foreign transactions, over credit limit, and copies of statements.

google-card“Every day, AdWords enables more than one million businesses, the majority of which are SMBs, to connect with their customers online,” said Brent Callinicos, Google VP Treasurer. “We hope AdWords Business Credit will give Small and Medium Sized Businesses more flexibility—some ‘extra credit’—so they're able to focus on growing their businesses even further.”

Google are clearly pushing for advertisers to make the card their primary form of payment. Callinicos reports, “In a survey conducted after the pilot launched, 74% of respondents said they now use AdWords Business Credit as their primary form of AdWords payment.”

Not everyone is enthused about the new program.

“AdWords can prove to be a lucrative part of an online marketer’s SEO strategy, and with Google adding the option for a credit line, it almost seems dumb to not sign up for the Google MasterCard. The problem I see is that Google has a tight grip on SEO already, so why give them access to your wallet?” asks Jim Vacey at BitRebels.com.

“Google has been making moves on both the social media front and in the tech industry. They have impacted millions with their algorithm changes, so it makes sense that Google will do whatever it takes to keep its crown,” Vacey wrote.

His advice? “If you rely on credit to pay for services, chances are you will be burned eventually. I would think twice before signing the dotted line for this card, but that’s just me.”

What do you think of Google’s credit card program for AdWords, will you be signing up? Share your thoughts in the comments!