Minimizing your DNA testing cost is not simply a matter of finding the lowest price. Testing companies vary considerably in terms of value offered.
I believe that Family Tree DNA is the best one-stop choice in genetic genealogy, including Y-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA testing for genealogy purposes. To learn why see my FTDNA Review page.
Two other good tests (both autosomal) are 23andMe and AncestryDNA.
When I learn about sales from the major DNA testing companies, I announce them in my blog. Go to the What's New page on this site to check for sale pricing and other news. If you subscribe to my blog, you will know when I report on such sales.
On rare occasions, Family Tree DNA will quietly offer discounts through their DNA Surname projects. You will not see the promotional prices if you simply go to the FTDNA web site and click on Products. They design these offers to help the administrators of DNA surname projects get more members. So you have to join one of the projects to get the promotional price.
DNA surname projects are a great way to combine DNA testing with genealogy. I am the administrator of the Richards DNA Surname Project and I appreciate all that Family Tree DNA does to help these groups.
If you have an uncommon surname with no group established, I will let you join my group to get the lower DNA testing cost. Once you get your results back, you can drop my group and join or start a more appropriate surname group. To get the discounted prices, just follow the steps below.
Look up your surname from the search box at the right. Change "Begins With" to "Equals" via the drop-down box. Then type your surname in the space below that and click the Search button.
If your surname has any existing projects, you will see one or more links to the join pages for those projects. Then you can order through the project’s price schedule. This ensures that you will get the lowest price currently available.
Some groups need to approve new members before you can order your test.
If your surname doesn’t show up, repeat the process for the “Richards” surname and join my group. I don’t require any approval step and you can place your order immediately.