GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Experts are warning shoppers to avoid taking out new retail credit cards this holiday season.

Dan Casey, the owner of Bridgeriver Advisors in Bloomfield Hills, warned that while a credit card may offer an initial low “teaser rate,” the real rate will eventually take effect.

“(The new rate) goes back to the beginning of the balances. If it’s not paid off, it’s going to be charged as if you had that high interest rate from the day of your first charge,” Casey said. “What (shoppers) do to try to avoid that is they then go to the next credit card, and try to get that to pay off the first one and then it’s like this snowball effect. … It doesn’t do good for your credit because now you have all these open credit cards.”

A recent creditcards.com survey found that retail credit card annual percentage rates have increased more than 2% from last year and have hit a record high of 26.72%.

Casey said for some of the high interest rates customers are seeing, it would take 10 years to pay off a $10,000 balance while paying $234 a month.

The Fed recently announced it was raising interest rates again by 0.75% in an effort to fight inflation. Some credit cards with variable rates have seen increases with those hikes.

“As the Fed keeps increasing those rates, those credit card rates are going to go up as well,” Casey said.

If you’re struggling to pay off credit card debt, Casey said the first thing you should do is call the company. He said if you’re straightforward with them, they may be willing to work out a deal and could do things like temporarily lower your interest rates.

“I think you’d be surprised, they work with people a lot more than what you would think,” Casey said. “It’s always worth a phone call.”

After that, Casey recommends cutting expenses where you can and throwing “everything you’ve got at this card.”

If you have multiple cards, Casey said to pay the one with the smallest balance first, and then go from there.