DNA Test Kits: Which One Should I Buy on Black Friday?

Genealogy author and expert Thomas MacEntee provides his advice on the best DNA test kit to buy during Black Friday 2018 and how to get the best deals!

Learn What to Look for in a DNA Test and Don’t Get Burned on Black Friday!

UPDATED 8:00 am CST, Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Remember you can visit DNA Bargains for the latest, up-to-date coupons and promo codes over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. PLUS click HERE to get your FREE copy of the best-selling DNA Buying Guide by genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee.  

So, the Black Friday sales on DNA test kits are here with some of the lowest prices ever!  If you are planning on purchasing a DNA test kit for yourself, as a gift, several tests for family members, or have a specific testing need, here is the best strategy as you navigate all the Black Friday offers on DNA.

Which DNA Test Kit Companies are the Best?

Which DNA Test Kit Companies are the Best?

While this might be a matter up for discussion, keep in mind that there are many “fly by night” or disreputable companies jumping on the bandwagon. You don’t want to spend good money on a test and not get results useful for genealogical research. The short list below are our recommended vendors in alphabetical order (not ranked otherwise):

  • NEW! 23andMe: Save up to $70 USD during Black Friday Sale at 23andMe. Sale valid through Sunday, November 25th – LINK
  • TODAY ONLY! Amazon: Save 50% on 23andMe DNA Test Health + Ancestry Service, regularly $199.99 USD, now just $99.99 USDLINK
  • NEW! Amazon: FREE SHIPPING for Amazon Prime Members on DNA test kits including 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, Living DNA and MyHeritage DNA – LINK
  • AncestryDNA: Cyber Sale at AncestryDNA – LOWEST PRICE EVER for AncestryDNA – just $49 USD!  Sale valid through Monday, November 26th – LINK
  • AncestryDNA Australia: Cyber Sale at AncestryDNA Australia
    just $88 AUD! Sale valid through Monday, November 26th – LINK
  • PRICE DROP! AncestryDNA Canada: Cyber Sale at AncestryDNA Canada
    just $69 CDN! Sale valid through Monday, November 26th – LINK
  • AncestryDNA UK: Cyber Sale at AncestryDNA UK – just £49! Sale valid through Monday, November 26th  – LINK
  • NEW! Family Tree DNAFamily Finder just $39 USD during Black Friday Sale – huge discounts on Y-DNA, mtDNA and bundles too! Sale valid through Monday, November 26th – LINK
  • Findmypast DNA: Black Friday Sale with HUGE Savings! Just $59 USD,
    $79 CAD, £59, €69 and $99 AUD Sale valid through Monday, November 26th – LINK
  • NEW! Living DNA: Save up to 40% during Living DNA Black Friday Sale – regularly $99 USD, now just $69 USD or purchase 2 or more kits for $59 USD each! Sale valid through Monday, November 26th – LINK
  • ENDS TODAY! MyHeritage: Black Friday Sale – MyHeritage DNA just $49 USD plus FREE SHIPPING! Sale valid through Friday, November  23rdLINK

All of the vendors above – often called the “Big Five” offer legitimate, well-reviewed and reliable DNA test kits for personal use. In addition, these vendors work with the various genealogy and family history communities and listen to their research needs. Their test data can be downloaded and in most cases uploaded to other DNA sites. These vendors also, for the most part, offer matching with other customers who have tested their DNA.

WARNING: NEVER pay more than $99 USD for a basic autosomal DNA test. Do not work with vendors who offer severely discounted tests such as $29. Beware that some DNA tests are “basic” and then charge you for results interpretation.

Should I Buy Before Black Friday, on Black Friday, or After Black Friday?

Should I Buy Before Black Friday, on Black Friday, or After Black Friday?

Now let’s deal with the timing issue. The information for this article is current as of the date and time listed in red at the top . Black Friday is Friday, November 23rd and Cyber Monday is Monday, November 26th. The holiday shopping season runs through December 24th, 2018, but there may also be “after Christmas” or “New Year’s” sales running through January 1st, 2019 and beyond.

Recommendations on When to Buy Your DNA Test

  • Purchase AncestryDNA over Black Friday/Cyber Monday Weekend. The current price is just $49 USD – that’s 50% off. There is a LIMIT of 5 tests per purchase (and per email) with no free shipping deals. However, there may be shipping incentives either on Cyber Monday or as Christmas approaches. Keep in mind that AncestryDNA is the best-selling test and the “big muscle” in the DNA genealogy industry. Offer valid through Monday, November 26th. Click HERE to purchase AncestryDNA.
  • Purchase Family Tree DNA Family Finder NOW; purchase other FTDNA tests at any time. The Family Finder autosomal test is marked down to just $39 USD. Other DNA tests (Y-DNA, mtDNA, etc.) are up to 40% off as well  during the Family Tree DNA Thanksgiving Sale.  Offer valid through Monday, November 26th. Click HERE to purchase Family Tree DNA.
  • Purchase 23andMe during Black Friday weekend  Right now the 23andMe Ancestry Service test kit, a basic autosomal test is just $69 USD and the Ancestry Service + Health is 50% off on TODAY ONLY (Black Friday) and ONLY via Amazon – regularly $199, it will be available for just $99 USD! Offer valid through Sunday, November 25th. Click HERE to purchase via 23andMe.
  • Purchase MyHeritage DNA test kit now. The current Black Friday/Cyber Monday price for MyHeritage DNA’s basic autosomal test is just $49.  Get FREE SHIPPING when you use promo code FREE18 a checkout. Offer valid through Friday, November 23rd. Click HERE to purchase MyHeritage DNA.
  • Amazon Prime Members get FREE SHIPPING. If you have an Amazon Prime Membership, many of the sale prices above are also available on Amazon. It might be a better deal to use Amazon since you can even get FREE ONE DAY SHIPPING in some areas. Click HERE to shop for DNA test kits on Amazon.

Which is the Best DNA Test Kit to Purchase during Black Friday?

Which is the Best DNA Test Kit to Purchase during Black Friday?

Again, each person has specific needs when it comes to DNA testing and there are many factors to consider.  Here is the recommended strategy for different types of consumers:

  • Anyone interested in family history should purchase an AncestryDNA test. With over 10 million users available for matching, Ancestry is the best-selling DNA test kit in the world. More importantly, you cannot upload DNA test data from other programs to Ancestry so you will need to use their site for matching. You can, however, download the AncestryDNA test data and upload it to other sites such as MyHeritage, Family Tree DNA and Living DNA.
  • Purchase advanced tests at Family Tree DNA. This is a “no brainer” since FTDNA really is the only vendor selling specific types of tests for multiple markers.  Remember to check your testing needs! Some of the tests such as Y-37, Y-67 and Y-111 are intended for male testing subjects ONLY – make sure you don’t waste your money on a test you can’t use!
  • Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage use the same lab – which to choose? Both tests are currently priced in the $39 USD to $49 USD range and they do, in fact, get processed at the same lab. Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage DNA provide basic matching services to DNA testers. Family Tree DNA currently charges a $19 USD fee to get added features (including Chromosome Browser, myOrigins, and ancientOrigins) if you want to upload DNA test data from another vendor. MyHeritage does not currently charge to upload outside DNA test results, but will begin charging a fee starting December 1st, 2018. MyHeritage is a better choice if your ethnic background is euro-centric since many of its users are based in Europe and you will find better matches at MyHeritage.
  • If you are testing older relatives, go with a swab test not a spit test. Your best bet is to avoid AncestryDNA which uses a spit test since many older people have trouble producing enough saliva for the test.  Use Family Tree DNA as well as MyHeritage DNA which require two swab samples, and one is kept on file for future use.
  • If you have British ancestry, you should purchase Living DNA. Currently on sale for just $69 USD and £69 GBP, Living DNA is the only DNA test vendor showing a detailed breakdown of British heritage. Click HERE to purchase Living DNA (US) and click HERE to purchase Living DNA (UK).
  • If you are purchasing in bulk, use Family Tree DNA or MyHeritage. With a price of just $39 USD for Family Tree DNA and $39 USD for MyHeritage, these tests are perfect for family reunions and get-togethers. However, keep in mind that MyHeritage at just $49 USD currently has free shipping which makes it cheaper than AncestryDNA or other tests..

Remember to do your homework this Black Friday shopping season when it comes to shopping smart and getting the most value out of a DNA test kit for genealogy and family history research. ALWAYS visit DNA Bargains at http://dnabargains.com for the latest deals BEFORE you click that checkout button!

PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”

Disclaimer: All prices and offers are subject to change. Some items may be sold out and have limited inventory. Also check to see if you have automated purchase settings enabled, such as Amazon Buy with 1-Click: it is your responsibility to make sure you are getting the correct price for an item before you check out and finalize the transaction.

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Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

Content and Images: All content including images have been used by permission from each vendor.

©2018, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved

About the Author

Thomas MacEntee
Genealogy educator and author Thomas MacEntee has been researching his family history for more than 40 years and is the creator of Abundant Genealogy, Genealogy Bargains, DNA Bargains, The Genealogy Do-Over and numerous other web-based genealogy and family history properties.