Google creates credit card for advertisers

Google will offer many of its advertisers a credit card which can only be used to purchase AdWords listings.

According to a Reuters report, the advertising behemoth and virtual Internet search monopoly, which already has close to $40 billion in the bank, wants to squeeze a bit more revenue out of cash-strapped businesses by allowing the to run up a line of credit with the MasterCard-backed plastic.

Before you start looking for an application form, and planning a massive shopping spree, we should point out that the cards will be offered by invitation only, and will be restricted to paying for Google ads.

The company said it is offering the line of credit because many businesses don't have the cash to pay for big seasonal advertising campaigns such as those at Christmas and Valentine's Day.

"They are resource-constrained and they are often cash flow-strapped. Many of them are trying to grow a business without the kind of means that, say, your classic company has," a high-level Googlist remarked.

Google started sending out invites to join the credit club - probably to those companies which have been struggling to pay their bills - yesterday.

The company is keeping quiet on what credit limits would be offered but hinted that they might be based on previous monthly spends.

Google purse-string holder Brent Callinicos said, "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."

Running at around nine per cent APR - which is an ongoing rate rather than an introductory offer - it's cheaper than most, but don't expect to clock up any Air Miles.