What is a gift membership?
A gift membership is a non-renewing membership paid for by one person (the gift-giver) to be used by someone else (the recipient), which gives the recipient access to Ancestry’s records and services for a period of time.
How do I buy a gift membership?
Simply click on ‘Gift Memberships’ at the bottom of any page on Ancestry.com, Ancestry.co.uk, Ancestry.ca, and Ancestry.com.au, and then follow the easy, step-by-step instructions from there.
Can I buy a gift membership for someone who is already registered with Ancestry?
Yes, as long as your recipient doesn’t have an active, paid subscription. If you buy a gift membership and then find out your recipient has an active paid subscription, you can transfer the gift membership to someone else by calling Ancestry Member Services via the local phone numbers below—or request a refund within thirty days of your original purchase date, as long as it is prior to the gift start date that you selected when you purchased the gift membership. No refunds are available after the gift membership gift start date.
Are gift memberships available for the international versions of Ancestry?
At this time, you can only buy gift memberships for Ancestry.com, Ancestry.co.uk, Ancestry.ca, and Ancestry.com.au.
What are the gift membership options?
The gift membership options vary based on the website you are purchasing from. For example, through Ancestry.com you can select a U.S. Discovery membership that includes historical records from the U.S. only, or a World Explorer membership that includes U.S. and international records. For each membership option, you can choose between a six-month or one-year membership.
When does a gift membership begin and what happens at that point?
A gift membership begins on the gift start date the gift-giver chooses during the purchase process. On the gift start date we’ll send the recipient an email with details about accessing the gift membership. We’ll also send the gift-giver a copy of that email.
Can I change the gift start date of a gift membership after I've purchased it?
No — so please choose your recipient’s gift start date carefully.
How will my recipient find out about the gift membership?
After you purchase a gift membership we will send you an order confirmation email with details you can share with your recipient. On the start date you’ve chosen we will send an email to your recipient telling them how to access the gift membership.
Prior to the start date, you are welcome to notify the recipient that an email will be arriving with their access code, and that their subscription starts the date it arrives.
Do gift membership recipients have to enter a credit card number?
No — they can simply access and enjoy the gift membership.
Do gift memberships automatically renew?
No. If a recipient wants to continue his or her Ancestry membership after the gift membership expires, he or she can sign up and pay for a regular, automatically-renewing subscription through one of Ancestry’s websites.
Can I set up a gift membership to automatically renew?
Not at this time. But you can buy a gift membership that lasts up to a year.
Are gift memberships different from regular memberships?
The main differences are (1) gift memberships can only be accessed using the access code sent to the recipient, and (2) gift memberships don’t automatically renew and other Ancestry memberships do.
Can a gift membership be transferred from one person to another?
Only if it hasn’t yet been accessed by the original recipient. In that case, the gift-giver or recipient can transfer the gift membership and access code to someone else by contacting Member Services via the contact information below.
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Frequently asked questions about accessing a gift membership:
How do I access my gift membership?
The person who bought the gift membership chose a gift start date. On that date we’ll send you an email linking you to the gift membership access page along with an access code you will need to enter in order to start your gift membership. You can also get to the access page by clicking on the “Gift Memberships” link at the bottom of the relevant Ancestry webpage (either Ancestry.com, Ancestry.co.uk, Ancestry.ca, or Ancestry.com.au, depending on the gift membership that has been purchased for you). Please note that you can only start your gift membership on the local Ancestry website on which the purchaser purchased your gift membership.
What happens if I lose my activation email or access code?
Simply call us via the region-specific contact information below. We can help you confirm your gift membership and resend your activation email to you. You can also contact the person who bought it for you since he or she will have received your gift membership access information.
What’s the gift start date and what happens on that date?
This is the date the gift-giver chose as the start date for the gift membership. It’s also the date when Ancestry sends the recipient an email with an access code and instructions.
Can I change the gift start date of a gift membership after I've received it?
No — your gift membership is only valid during the time period chosen by the gift-giver.
What happens if I access my gift membership for the first time after the gift start date? Do you extend the duration of the membership?
No — so we suggest taking advantage of your gift membership right away!
Are gift memberships different from regular memberships?
The main differences are that (1) gift memberships can only be accessed using the access code sent to the recipient, and (2) gift memberships don’t automatically renew and other Ancestry memberships do.
What if I receive multiple gift memberships? Can I access more than one at a time or have overlapping gift memberships?
You can only have one gift membership at a time. If you receive a gift membership after another has already been activated for you, you can transfer the second gift membership to someone else—or tell the second gift-giver right away so he or she can get a refund, which is only possible within thirty days of the original gift membership purchase and before the gift start date selected by the gift-giver.
What if I receive a gift membership and I’m already an Ancestry subscriber?
At this time there’s no way to add a gift membership to an active paid membership. If you receive a gift membership and already have an active paid membership, we suggest telling the gift-giver right away so he or she can get a refund, which is only possible within thirty days of the original purchase and before the gift start date selected by the gift-giver. Another option would be for you or the gift-giver to transfer the gift membership to someone else by contacting Member Services via the contact information below.
However, if you’ve registered with Ancestry.com for free and are only using free aspects of the site like online family trees, you can indeed access a gift membership if you receive one.
Can I exchange the gift membership I was given for a different one or for another Ancestry product (such as an AncestryDNA test)?
Not at this time.
How long do I have to access my gift membership?
Your gift membership begins on the day the gift-giver chooses as your gift start date, which cannot be changed. On that day we’ll send you an email telling you how to access your gift membership, the duration of which will correspond to the membership purchased by the gift-giver (either six months or one year). We suggest you access it right away so you can get the maximum time and enjoyment out of your Ancestry gift membership.
What happens when my gift membership ends?
Once your gift membership ends, you will continue to have access to your Ancestry account, any trees you’ve built, and, if applicable, any AncestryDNA results in your account. At that point, in order to maintain access to the records and other paid features you were able to access with your gift membership, you can sign up and pay for a regular, automatically-renewing subscription through one of Ancestry’s websites.
Please visit our Ancestry Support pages at ::HelpUrlPrefix::/s/ or give us a call using the relevant phone number(s) on the following pages: