Kelli Jo Bergheimer

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23andMe+ ….What is it? How much does it cost? Is it worth it for learning more about your genetic health risks or your ancestry? We have answers. 

Those who want to get the most from DNA testing at 23andMe may be looking at the 23andMe+ service. Is it right for you? We explore it, below.

But before you pay MORE for 23andMe+, are you getting the most out of the results you already have? Watch our free video tutorials on understanding your 23andMe ethnicity results and your 23andMe match list. Then keep reading for more on 23andMe+.

Now that you’ve learned these helpful hints, let’s consider whether you’d want to upgrade to a 23andMe+ membership.

What is 23andMe+ membership?

23andMe+ is a membership option if you have tested using their latest V5 chip. What’s the V5 chip? DNA chips are used to detect your DNA data. Each version of the chip detects more information from your DNA and is better than the prior version of the chip.

You can find your chip information after logging in. Go to the settings. Then look for your Genotyping Chip version:

Who can use 23andMe+?

If you’ve tested with V5, you can participate in 23andMe+. You just need to pay $29 per year to upgrade your account. (That averages out to $2.41per month.)

If you tested on V1, V2, V3, or V4, you’ll need to purchase an upgrade before you can join 23andMe+. After testing on V4, it costs $125 to have 23andMe send a new kit to upgrade to V5.

Is 23andMe+ membership worth it?

The V5 chip and 23andMe+ membership has all of your original account settings, reports, and settings. Two major benefits of 23andMe+ are an increase in your health reports and an update to the Ancestry Composition mapping based on more recent reference populations.

For building your family tree and find relatives, the most exciting benefit for 23andMe+ is more matches. With your current account, you have a maximum of 1500 matches (or a few more if your matches have opted to share with you). As new matches appear in your list, lower matches will drop from your list. It’s possible that those lower matches are still high-enough-sharing matches to be meaningful for your family tree questions. The last-available match currently on my list is a fourth cousin, a man born in 1985, sharing 0.33% (about 25 cM) of DNA on 1 segment.

When I first learned that 23andMe was truncating my match list, I started downloading the list so I could keep track of the matches who get bumped off to make room for closer matches. In 2017 my match list contained more than 1000 matches who share DNA with me at the 0.33% level to the 0.22% level (about 16 cM). If I hadn’t downloaded those match lists through the years, I would have more than 1000 fewer matches to add into my clusters and research!

How to download your 23andMe DNA match list

Why did 23andMe charge $29?

The $29 charge is for those who have enrolled in the 23andMe+ subscription. U.S.-based users with a V5 chip test can opt to pay this annual fee of $29.

How do I cancel my 23andMe+ subscription?

To cancel your 23andMe+ subscription, go to the membership section of the settings. The company doesn’t prorate or refund your money, but at the end of the billing cycle, you can cancel and go back to viewing your account as it was before your upgrade.

How can I use 23andMe to explore my family health history?

23andMe offers health reports and options to participate in genetic research. In addition to your health predispositions, carrier status information, wellness, and traits, you can use the provided information about particular health and traits to become better informed about your family health history. You can use your DNA match list to help you build your family tree, which can help you learn about your ancestors’ lives and health.

Get our free guide to finding ancestors using DNA

As you build your family tree, you can add family health information. These can be in the form of age at death; cause of death; and known health conditions for your relatives. You can learn about these by asking your relatives or consulting death certificates and other sources such as newspapers and obituaries for causes of death. Adding this information to your family tree can be valuable to evaluating disease patterns and can provide vital information to your physician about your family health history.

Get started: Finding ancestors using DNA


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<a href="https://www.yourdnaguide.com/author/kellijobergheimer" target="_self">Kelli Jo Bergheimer</a>

Kelli Jo Bergheimer

Kelli Bergheimer is a writer, teacher, editor, and national genealogical speaker. Kelli is the Director of Curriculum and Assessment for Blue Kayak, a K-12 textbook company. Her passion for education reaches beyond the classroom to teach others how to use genetic genealogy to solve family history mysteries. Kelli also works as a DNA editor for Legacy Tree Genealogists.


  1. Lois J Lane

    My husband and I BOTH have tested with 23andme and I just paid for the + on my subscription. I don’t see anything Different in what I can see between the two results. Where do I see the Differences or additional information that I should see on mine. I’d like to know if I should also pay for the extra on HIS but if there is NO difference it is not worth the expense.


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