Except for Black Friday in November, the timing of DNA test sales is unpredictable. For a long time, I tried to monitor the companies and post current prices here. But now there are more testing options and it's difficult for one person to keep up. I don't want to provide incorrect information. So I am simply providing links to all my recommended testing companies. Click any or all of the following links for up-to-the-minute pricing and details of any DNA test sales 24/7.
NOTE: All these links go directly to the testing company. This is the safest way to take advantage of DNA test sales. If you see an extremely low price elsewhere, it may be just for the test kit. What looks like a bargain is not when you have to pay a lab processing fee later. The testing companies above include everything in their prices when ordering from their websites.
Genealogists know that the more relatives you test, the easier it is to group your matches into specific branches of your family tree. All of these home test kits have a very long shelf life--at least a year or two. So any sale is a good time to stock up on extra test kits.
You can enter the tester's name later. If you are required to fill in a name at the time of order, just write TBD for To Be Determined.
Family Tree DNA will also ask you for the sex of the test subject, since they offer a Y-DNA test that can only be done by men. If you don't know the sex of the future tester, just check male for now to preserve your options.
To learn more about all the recommended DNA tests, read on.
The DNA test with the largest database is AncestryDNA. In addition to the heavily advertised ethnicity breakdown, you will discover hundreds or even thousands of genetic relatives who could be related to you from any branch of your family tree.
Once you get your results, you can download your raw data and transfer it for free into three other major databases to get many more matches. Both men and women can test. Order at AncestryDNA, which does NOT accept transfers from other tests.
They also offer an AncestryHealth test. That test is not available in NY, NJ, or RI.
Even without DNA test sales, 23andMe is a bargain at any price when you consider all that you get. Many experts say 23andMe is the best choice for measuring ethnicity. Plus, it has the second largest DNA database for finding genetic relatives. And they even place your closer matches into a family tree.
23andMe also checks enough mitochondrial DNA and (for men) Y-DNA to determine your haplogroup(s).
Their Health+Ancestry option adds FDA-approved checks on your genetic health.
23andMe does NOT accept transfers from other tests. So we have no choice but to order this one directly.
Family Finder Test at Family Tree DNA
Another autosomal DNA test is Family Finder. It is especially popular with genealogists because the database is not swollen with people who only tested for ethnicity or health reasons. Family Tree DNA uses cheek swabs instead of having you spit saliva into a tube. This is much easier for the very young, the very old, and anyone who is just grossed out by the idea of filling a test tube full of spit.
By testing directly instead of transferring data from another test, you get the maximum number of matches and they will attempt to save samples for 25 years. Getting your older relatives tested there is a must in my opinion. Click Family Finder to order.
Other DNA Tests at Family Tree DNA
Y-DNA testing can reveal a lot about a man's direct paternal line. Matches are specific to that line and can reach much farther back in time than autosomal testing. Adoptees and other men can often learn the last name of their biological father.
Men can do STR tests at 37 markers, 111 markers, or the Big Y-700 which includes 700 STR markers in addition to the revolutionary Big Y SNP test that checks the Y chromosome for thousands of mutations.
If you have already done a Y-DNA test, you can upgrade to additional markers or even Big Y-700. Click Family Tree DNA to learn more and see prices.
Y-DNA and mtDNA testing are inherently more costly that autosomal testing. So taking advantage of DNA test sales is especially important.
MyHeritage is the most popular DNA test in Europe and is growing all over the world. They have some of the most innovative tools I've seen for figuring out how you and your matches are related. You can order the Ancestry test or the Health+Ancestry test. They use cheek swabs for collecting your sample. Order directly from MyHeritage.
TIP: If you have already done AncestryDNA, Family Finder, or 23andMe, you can upload your raw data for free at MyHeritage Upload. You will be able to see and contact your genetic matches. To unlock all the great tools, you just need to pay a one-time unlock free of $29.
Living DNA provides a breakdown of your overall ethnic ancestry AND identifies the haplogroups of your maternal and (for men) paternal ancestry. The ethnicity report does a nice job of breaking U.K. ancestry into 21 sub-regions. They are currently doing sub-regional research in Ireland and Germany. Those of us with Irish or German ancestry will see even more refined ethnicity breakdowns in the future.
In the near future, we will get the opportunity to compare our DNA with that of others in the database to see genetic relatives. Living DNA is beta testing “Family Networks”—a new DNA-driven matching system and family tree reconstruction method.
They now offer four different options for testing. Click LivingDNA to see what they offer as you check for DNA test sales.
DISCLOSURE: Virtually all of the DNA testing companies in this field have affiliate programs. Like most DNA bloggers, I participate in such programs only for those tests that I use and recommend anyway. Using one of my affiliate links will not cost you any extra, but the commissions help me provide news and advice for free.