NEW YORK: Google, the online giant, has launched a new AdWords Business credit card for enterprise users, in a bid to maintain sales in the face of competition from rivals such as Yahoo and Microsoft.

The new product can only be used to buy search ads from Google, with purchases carrying an interest rate of 8.99%.

Claire Johnson, Google's VP of global online sales, told Reuters: "The credit card was designed to help small and medium-sized businesses that advertise on Google but who often don't have the funds to support a heavy ad campaign ahead of a big sales season, such as holidays."

An emailed statement from a Google spokesperson to Information Week explained the company is "beta testing" the card with a small group of US firms, with invitations to join being sent out via email.

"AdWords is a tremendous driver of growth for small businesses, so we think it makes sense to give them a more attractive way to pay for AdWords," Google added.

According to, the average interest rate on US business cards stands at 12.91%.

Google reported revenues of US$29.3bn for 2010. Around 96% of this total was derived from search advertising.

According to latest figures from comScore, the research firm, Google controls around two-thirds of the US search market.

Data sourced from Reuters/Information Week/UTalk Marketing/comScore; additional content by Warc staff