Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Cheapest Way to Upgrade

Okay! The secret is just about to be let out of the bag!

Here is how to make the most of the current FTDNA special offers and save the maximum amount of money while upgrading your Y-DNA test to at least 37 markers, and even 67 or 111 markers. The trick is to do step-wise upgrading and use a different coupon code for each step! There you have it ... simples!

For example, if you have only tested to 12 markers (i.e. the Y-DNA-12 test), you would first upgrade to Y-DNA-25, then Y-DNA-37, and then (if you wished) to Y-DNA-67, and Y-DNA-111. Each step would save you at least $10-$20 so you could easily save $40 on the price a Y-DNA-37 test, or $80 from the price of a Y-DNA-111 test.

Coupon Codes

There are several coupon codes available:

  • You can save $15 by using the repeat-use coupon code: 15for15 ... this is valid until Feb 28th so hurry! This can be used on multiple occasions for any type of test so it is great if you want to buy several different tests or want to do step-wise upgrading.
  • You can save at least $10, frequently $20, and up to $100 by using the one-use-only coupon code that I post each day in the Farrell Clan Facebook page. Or you can check it out for yourself by visiting the Activity Feed on the Farrell DNA Project website where the daily codes are automatically posted at 10am Central Time.
  • Alternatively, you could wait for a Sale at FTDNA - they have them at several times during the year. Below is an example of the discounts on offer in their Christmas 2014 sale ... which has already ended but at least it gives you an idea of prices! However, you are not likely to save as much money as you will with the current coupon codes.

FTDNA's last Sale (currently over) - click to enlarge

Who should Upgrade?

Not everyone needs to upgrade their test. And those who don't should save their money and use it for some future DNA testing or other genealogical endeavours. But those who should upgrade include the following ...
  • Everyone should test to at least 37 markers (Y-DNA-37) - it's not possible to reliably allocate project members to specific genetic families unless they have tested to at least this level.
  • Anyone who is Ungrouped and in Haplogroup R and has tested to 37 markers should consider upgrading to 67 markers (Y-DNA-67) - this may reveal close connections to other project members which are not apparent at the lower level of testing, and may thus facilitate allocation to a specific genetic family.
  • Similarly, if you are Ungrouped, in Haplogroup R, and have tested to 67 markers, you should consider upgrading to 111 markers.
  • If you are already in a Genetic Family (GF), and you and your GF members want to find out who within the GF is more closely related to whom, then step-wise upgrading to Y-DNA-111 is recommended for all members in that GF. If everyone tests to 111-markers, then a Mutation History Tree can be generated which may be able to show how each of the family branches are connected to the common ancestor and which branch is most closely related to which other branch. We will cover this in a future post. This will also help focus traditional genealogical research as those GF members who are more closely related to each other should focus their efforts at joint research and collaboration. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here's how you should upgrade from the 12-marker test (Y-DNA-12). To upgrade from 25 markers or higher, just skip Step 1 and go to Step 2.

Step 1 - upgrade from 12 to 25 markers ... This is a bit tricky and I'm not sure it will work for everyone. In brief, you will have to leave the Farrell project and then rejoin it.

  • Go to and Sign In to your account.
  • Hover over My Projects on the top menu bar, and click on Manage Projects from the drop-down menu.
  • Navigate to the Farrell project and click on leave the project (don't worry - you will be rejoining the project in 2 minutes).
  • Click on Sign Out in the top right hand corner (the next steps won't work if you are logged in).
  • Click on Projects in the top menu bar and in the Search box enter the surname Farrell - you should land on the page below.

  • Opposite the Y-DNA-25 test for $109, click on the orange Order Now button on the right.
  • On the next screen (see below), under the image in the middle, click on the blue text which reads: Is Kit #1 for an existing customer?
  • Now enter your kit number and password and click Sign In.
  • The price will drop from $109 to $49  (I had to try this several times before it worked).
  • In the bottom right, below the green Proceed to Checkout button, click on the text which reads: Do you have a coupon?
  • Enter one of the coupon codes mentioned above and click Apply - the price will drop again by whatever amount the coupon is for (at least $10).
  • Then click on Proceed to Checkout and pay for the test. 
  • You will now have upgraded from 12 to 25 markers and will have rejoined the Farrell DNA Project.

Step 2 - upgrade from 25 to 37 markers

  • Click on the Upgrade button in the top right of your MyFTDNA Homepage (see below).
  • Then click on the appropriate Upgrade Price button on the right ($49 for upgrading to Y-DNA-37 from Y-DNA-25).

  • In the bottom right, below the green Proceed to Checkout button, click on the text which reads: Do you have a coupon?
  • Enter the coupon code and click Apply - the price will drop by the coupon amount.
  • Then simply click the Proceed to Checkout button and pay for the test.
  • You will now have upgraded to the Y-DNA-37 test.

Steps 3 & 4 - upgrade from 36 to 67 markers, or from 67 to 111 markers

  • Simply repeat the process in Step 2 to continue upgrading to higher marker levels.
  • Enter a coupon code each time to make sure you get the most from the current discounts on FTDNA tests.
If you have any problems just leave a comment below, or in the Farrell Clan Facebook page, and I will do my best to assist.

Maurice Gleeson
25th Feb 2015

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