Edited April 24, 2017
at 04:04 PM
National DNA Day is April 25th, and several sites are having sales already. I'll try to update as I can. I'll add I'm sorta new to DNA genealogy so I may just have to point you to other websites for more info if you have questions (and please feel free to correct me if I post any incorrect info or you have better info).
So for the big 3 dna providers:
Family Tree DNA [familytreedna.com]
has their Family Finder for $59 (usually $79), Y DNA at $129-289 (usually $169-359), and the full sequence mtDNA is $149 (they have a more basic version for $79 but that's the regular price, it's not marked down). Note they charge $12.95 for shipping, so the final cost for the $59 kit is $72.
is supposed to have a sale that ends April 26th - now live
. Price is
supposed to be
$79 (usually $99) for the autosomal DNA. Looks like there is a sale for Canada [ancestry.ca]
(live - ends Apr 25) andUK [ancestry.co.uk]
(doesn't start until Apr 23, ends Apr 26) as well.
is offering $20 off a kit through May 14th. Good only for 2 kits.
Those are the 3 main reputable companies. There's a few others that I believe are newer and may not be as established yet, and I'm not terribly familiar with, so I would recommend doing your research on them before ordering. Personally I'd go with one of the 'big 3' but that's entirely up to you.
Living DNA [livingdna.com]
is a pretty new UK based dna testing site, but has a US testing facility so you can order from them if you're in the US too. Sale is live, $119 (regularly $159) - UK test on sale too. They differ in that they include mtdna and Ydna in the test (other sites those cost extra). Note they do not let you download your DNA data to use on other sites. Reviews seem mixed, and while tempting with the 3 tests for the low price, personally I'm holding off until they're more established.
DNA is not having a sale on just the DNA test, which is $79. However they're offering a bundle that includes a DNA test and genealogical record access for $199 (regularly $329). While their DNA testing is newer, the company has been around awhile, and seems like more people are interested in using their DNA service. Reviews seem mixed, so again, may want to hold off ordering from them.
National Geographic Genographic Project [nationalgeographic.com]
is $149 (down from $199 - has been marked down for awhile so not exactly a part of the DNA day sales). Includes mtDNA and Ydna. I don't know a lot about their test, so I have no input on this one. I'd read through their website and look at reviews to figure out if this test is for you.
Quick note about the tests. There are 3 types of testing, autosomal, mtDNA and Ydna. The autosomal is ususally the basic/cheapest kits offered, and tests DNA inherited from your parents. They use this to do the ethnicity mapping charts you often see promoted. It can also be used to potentially match relatives in their database of testers (note each company has their own database - they don't share data with each other).
mtDNA traces the mother's lineage, past down from mother to children, and can be taken by both men and women. Ydna traces the father's lineage, past down from father to son, so it's only available for men.
There is also a difference in how the samples are collected you may want to consider. FTDNA and LivingDNA do mouth swabs, the others (Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage) collect saliva in a tube. If you have a family member who may have trouble doing a saliva test (e.g. due to medical condition) then consider using a test kit that does the swabs.
A few other tidbits:
FTDNA also lets you upload your DNA data from other testing sites for a price ($19 I believe), so a popular option seems to be to test with Ancestry or 23andMe, then load your info to FTDNA. Read their FAQ [familytreedna.com]
if you're interested in this as there are some restrictions.
Also FTDNA will let you upgrade to the other tests later on, so you can start with the basic kit, then order a mtDNA test later if you want - theoretically with the same sample already submitted (their website states they will contact you for a new sample if there is a problem with the original).
Regardless of the company you use, please consider uploading your raw DNA data to GEDmatch [gedmatch.com]
, which is a free open database. Each company has their own database, and this is a way for people taking tests from all the companies to share information and look for potential relatives regardless of who you tested with. There are a few other free database sites like this online, but this is the most well known so far.
ETA: Realize these tests usually take 2-3 months to get back results. A lot of it depends on their backlog of tests to run, and sales like these often increase the lead time a bit. (i.e. don't send in your results expecting to hear back in 2-3 weeks). If you are concerned about this you can check online FB posts/other forums specific to the company and get a sense how long it's taking people to get results back; or contact the companies customer service and ask.
From splek: "Transferring to FTdna and reviewing matches is FREE. If you want their interpretation of your origin and access to the chromosome browser, then you have to pay the extra $19." Thanks for the clarification!