Saturday, April 25, 2015

Old and New Subscription packages

It appears that has different plans depending upon whether you are a new subscriber or upgrading a current account. This isn't unusual - but the difference is significant. Not in what they are charging, but the plans themselves.

A new subscriber has two options on reaching the website. Subscribe to a plan, or a 14 day free trial. (But the 14 day free trial requires you to select a plan that will follow the trial.) Except for the 14 free days, the prices and plans are identical. Note, however, that you no longer have an annual subscription option as a new subscriber.

The plans may look unusual to the current member. It appears they no longer offer their "US Discovery Plan" providing access to all US records. (I have discovered at least one place, for now, a new subscriber can access this old plan, which I discuss below.)

Your choices are:
  • All World Records, minus some 'premium collections'
  • All World Records
  • All World Records + Fold3 + + Ancestry Academy

Premium collections (see image) include yearbooks, wills and probate, homestead and land deeds, occupational records, military draft cards, enlistment and casualty records, and 'other' family and local history sources.

The 'Standard' option seems to only include census, civil, birth, marriage and death records, as well as the family trees.

If you currently have an account you have two options.

(Note: I am assuming this is what you see whether your account is a Free 'lapsed subscription' account, or a paid subscriber account. My account is currently lapsed. If I am incorrect, let me know in the comments.)

You can either select Subscribe or My Account.

If you select 'Subscribe' your options are the same as above. Same costs, too.
If you select 'My Account' you have an upgrade option with the old packages.

So the US Discovery membership is still available for the same price as the new Standard package. You have the choice of paying the same thing and getting a subset of records for the whole world, or all of the US records. But you only have the latter option if you already have an account, which suggests the option is likely to be phased out in the future.

That is, new subscribers don't have the US Discovery option directly from the Ancestry website.

Have you heard of Goodshop? It's a place where you can select the non-profit of your choice, and companies across the internet have agreed to contribute a percentage of your purchases to that non-profit if you go to their site from Goodshop. Ancestry contributes up to 7.5%.

And the US Discovery membership plan is still available at Goodshop. (I don't know for how long.)

Here are all of Goodshop's related coupons

Goodshop also has a 20% coupon for an AncestryDNA kit that supposedly expires April 27. If you click the link on the "Save $60" coupon below, you end up with the Ancestry membership options shown above. (It's not really an exclusive coupon, since it's the normal $60 discount you get from the Semi-Annual membership when compared to the monthly membership. But your chosen non-profit gets a cut.)


Eliminating the US Discovery package is likely a smart business move for Ancestry. I suspect there are a lot of family historians who were very comfortable with just the US Discovery package, but will pay the extra for the collections now labelled 'premium.'

I do wonder if the Ancestry Library Access package will remain all US records, or whether it will be changed to match the Standard package.

I let my Ancestry membership lapse because I thought I would try out some other subscription sites in its stead. I know I will return to Ancestry, even if it is only for single months at a time to see what new records there are. A 1-month All Access pass is tempting if I find a month where I know I will have the time to conduct some research. With a pair of two-year old twins and a full-time job, my research time has taken a direct hit. (I wouldn't trade this for my former life for anything, though.)

1 comment:

jrachelle said...

Thank you for the information. I've searched and read for over an hour using my ancestry and have learned essentially nothing. Fluff and talking in circles. Your article cuts to the chase and as a long-standing member, tells me what I needed to know. I haven't even gotten this type of information in the emails Ancestry sent. Thank you.