Black Friday sales are on for DNA tests, and they’re among the best prices we’ve seen! There are five main DNA testing companies, and they’re all on sale right now.
If You Can Only Afford One DNA Test
For most genealogy applications, the best choice is AncestryDNA (only $49 through November 26th, 2018). You can build a family tree there for free, but a subscription will greatly enhance your ability to document your tree and examine the trees of your matches. Gift subscriptions are 50% off during the sale. You can even gift one to yourself!
If You Want the Most Bang for Your Buck
If you can afford both, test with AncestryDNA and 23andMe. The latter has their Ancestry-only (without health reports) test on sale for only $69 (normally $99) and their Ancestry + Health test is only $129 (normally $199) through the 25th of November. You can then copy your “raw data” into the other databases for free or for a small fee. (Click here for instructions on how to “transfer” your raw data file.)
If You Want the Best of All Worlds
Testing with AncestryDNA and 23andMe and then transferring your raw data will get you into all of the main databases for the least amount of money. However, for best results, you may want to test directly with the smaller companies. Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder test is on sale for only $39—one of lowest prices I’ve seen—through November 26, while MyHeritage is selling their autosomal DNA test for only $49 + free shipping with the promo code FREE18 (ends November 25). Their results are completely compatible with one another, so you can test at Family Tree DNA and transfer to MyHeritage (or vice versa) with no limitations to matching. MyHeritage is also on sale outside the US, and Family Tree DNA has steep discounts on their yDNA and mitochondrial DNA tests, as well, through the 26th (see below).
If You’re a Guy
Men (but not women) can also do a yDNA test that tracks the direct paternal line (son to father to grandfather to great grandfather, etc.). This can be very useful for surname research. If you’re interested in doing a yDNA test, I recommend starting with the Y-37 test from Family Tree DNA. It’s on sale for only $99 ($70 off the regular price). The company also offers more detailed levels of yDNA testing and gives you the option to “upgrade” your existing test at a later date.
If You’re Tracing Your Mother’s Mother’s Mother’s Line
Finally, Family Tree DNA offers one other test that its competitors don’t: the mtFull Sequence for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). mtDNA is inherited from our mothers, so anyone can do the test to trace their direct maternal line. It’s the most specialized of the genealogy tests, but it can be valuable in the right applications. (Click here to learn more about using mtDNA.) Right now, the mtFull test is $60 off at only $139. I strongly reccommend the mtFull test over the less expensive mtDNA Plus test.
You can see a comparison of current prices here.
Updates to This Post
23 November 2018: Price for Family Tree DNA Family Finder was updated to $39.
25 November 2018: Updated prices and sale dates; added yDNA and mtDNA.