Introducing the Google Credit Card: Say What?

October 9, 2012 No Comments »
Introducing the Google Credit Card: Say What?

No, it’s not a typo. And no, it’s not old news about Google getting into the business of providing credit card comparisons within their search results.

This is actually a “Google credit card,” complete with their logo on the front of 3×2-odd inch rectangular piece of plastic.

One that fits nicely in your wallet alongside all your other credit cards.

Don’t believe me? Check out the screenshot below, which while somewhat of a prototype, shows the card in action.

google credit card

What’s the Catch?

As you can see, it’s being branded as, “Adwords Business Credit,” meaning it’s exclusively for use via the AdWords program.

It’s geared toward small and medium-sized businesses with tight margins that still need to advertise while they grow (and spend on growing).

I know, I know, it’s a bit of a letdown there, but it does mean Google is taking a brave step toward providing credit lines to customers.

And it’s really not far off from a fully-fledged credit card. It’s got all the makings of one.

For example, there is a credit limit, just as you’d see with a normal credit card. Additionally, the Google credit card has a low, variable APR set at 11.9%.

Oh, and there’s no annual fee and minimum monthly payments can be made, just like a standard credit card.

Any Other Details?

Yes. The Google AdWords Business Credit card is being provided “exclusively” by Barclays Bank, which is a British bank behind the Barclaycard and Ring, both of which have been reviewed on this very site.

And it’s currently only available to British citizens in the AdWords program.

Additionally, it can only be used for AdWords purchases, meaning if you try to impress your friends by swiping the Google credit card at a pub, you’ll look like a fool.

Later this month, Google plans to roll out the card here in the U.S., with APR ranging from 8.99% to 18.99%, depending on creditworthiness.

The U.S. card is being backed by Comenity Capital Bank, which already provides store credit cards to places like Victoria’s Secret, Express, and Buckle.

MasterCard will back both the British and US version of the credit card.

So technically Google isn’t issuing the credit card alone. They’ve got some friends that know what they’re doing in that department.

But it does kind of lay the framework for a straight up Google credit card in the future.

Can you imagine, a credit card that knows what you like, what you search for, where you shop, etc.

They could tailor offers and rewards based on your exact habits, and essentially revolutionize the credit card industry.

Only time will tell if they’re that ambitious, but this is definitely an interesting development and one to watch closely.

(photo: brionv)

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