Easy: Order Free COVID-19 Test Kits

Easy: Order Free COVID-19 Test Kits

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In late January 2022 it finally became possible to order free at-home coronavirus test kits. However, each household could only order a total of four test kits. In early March it became possible to order another four test kits, and now it’s possible to order another eight test kits.

Request four free coronavirus tests

Households in the United States can now order free coronavirus test kits for a third time, delivered directly to their homes via USPS:

  • This offer is open even to those who have already received two sets of test kits
  • The order includes a total of eight individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests, which will be delivered in two batches
  • Orders will ship as soon as available from manufacturers (the first two times I received them within a couple of weeks)

The process of requesting free tests kits is extremely easy — you just have to provide your name, email address, and shipping address, and no payment is required. I requested another eight tests for our household in less than a minute.

Can free coronavirus test kits be used for travel?

While these rapid antigen tests can be useful for travel, unfortunately they can’t be used for the purposes of international travel to the United States, where you need to get a rapid antigen test within one calendar day of your US-bound journey. While there are test kits you can buy for travel that are self-administered, the catch is that you have to be supervised (virtually) while taking the test.

As a standard, these tests don’t come with that option. However, some test kits do let you add the option to be used for travel at an additional cost, so you’ll want to check with the manufacturer.

Regardless, having spare rapid antigen tests is incredibly useful for those traveling. It’s always helpful to be able to verify whether you have coronavirus or not, given the potential impact on your health, the health of others, and travel plans. If nothing else, it can be helpful to be able to test again after returning from a trip, especially for those of us who have vulnerable people in our lives.

Bottom line

For the third time since the beginning of 2022, it’s possible to order free coronavirus test kits. This time around you can order a total of eight tests, which will be shipped in two separate packages. With cases slowly increasing and many people traveling, this could come in handy.

Are you ordering these free COVID-19 test kits?

Conversations (85)
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  1. Mary Guest

    Very confusing that you used a photo of the test that can be used for return to the US.

  2. Darren C Member

    Over 7 million people die every year from tobacco but we haven't shut the world down or lost our minds.

    Covid Chicken Littles want a lifetime of testing, masking, and "free" government goodies while sending the bill to the few of us who pay federal income taxes.

    1. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar Guest

      Tobacco isn’t contagious though is it

    2. GBOAC Diamond

      Poor Darren who states "Over 7 million people die every year from tobacco but we haven't shut the world down or lost our minds." apparently can't see several critical differences between tobacco and COVID. And he fails to acknowledge that tobacco products are banned in many places including airlines.

  3. Will Guest

    You know these are not free- you paid for them April with your tax returns

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      More the reason to order your complementary kits:-)

  4. Sel, D. Guest

    Please don’t push this Lucky. It’s terrible for the environment, tax payers, and not necessary.

  5. Alonzo Diamond

    A country obsessed with testing lmao. Count me out. Only donkeys care about this junk anymore.

  6. derek Guest

    The current bipartisan thinking is to rip off your mask, pretend the pandemic is over and eliminate ALL precautions except some people are vaccinated and not that many have boosters. Stupidity.

  7. Brodie Guest

    Did not work for me, and I have only ordered twice.

  8. Silverbuffy Guest

    @rjb. That’s like saying very few people died from drug overdose because they had a heart attack (while taking a bunch of opioids). But for covid causing or exacerbating another health issue, a million people would be alive today. Saying otherwise is insulting to every person who lost a loved one in the past two years.

  9. Alan Gold

    This has to be one of the worst plans the Biden administration has implemented since taking power. The rapid tests are useless unless you have a fairly high viral load. Thus you can easily be contagious yet test negative. My wife had a positive test on a Thursday so I took a rapid test on Friday morning which was negative. Saturday I developed a low grade fever. I took a rapid test on Monday and...

    This has to be one of the worst plans the Biden administration has implemented since taking power. The rapid tests are useless unless you have a fairly high viral load. Thus you can easily be contagious yet test negative. My wife had a positive test on a Thursday so I took a rapid test on Friday morning which was negative. Saturday I developed a low grade fever. I took a rapid test on Monday and it was positive, I took a PCR test on Tuesday and of course it was positive. Thus obviously on Thursday, I had already been infected and could have infected many others had I relied on the rapid test. Unless you have symptoms, which means you have already been contagious for the past couple days, you are unlikely to get a positive result. Why even bother with such unreliable tests? Just more taxpayer money down the drain.

  10. Big picture Guest

    I received my 4 “free” tests thru the US Mail offering last month. They clearly stated “Made in China”. We all know that China is not sending them for “free” and taxpayers money is being used to fund the acquisition.
    I won’t be ordering a second set.

    1. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar Guest

      Was the “Made in China” statement referring to the test kit or the virus?

  11. TranceXplant Member

    Now that the threat is nearly gone, I can order more of what I never received when it mattered. Yay.

  12. VaxNWax Guest

    The test I got by iHealth is able to to be used for travel, just go to the website, pay $20 for the video proctoring and voila, you're able to return to the US. The website says it's approved for travel if you pay...$20 for a test versus the $50 for Binax proctored test

    1. TranceXplant Member

      Now that the threat is nearly gone, I can order more of what I never received when it mattered. Yay.

    2. TranceXplant Member

      Oops. Didn't mean to reply to another post.

  13. 0504Traveller Guest

    right now the US requires a negative COVID-test 24-hrs prior to departure. According to the current regulations this can either be a pcr test or a supervised rapid test.

    I just came back from Panama on Delta and through Delta I purchased the rapid tests as purchasing through them included telemedicine appt to supervise my test. The process was extremely simple and easy to navigate and obtain the results.

    There is a costs...

    right now the US requires a negative COVID-test 24-hrs prior to departure. According to the current regulations this can either be a pcr test or a supervised rapid test.

    I just came back from Panama on Delta and through Delta I purchased the rapid tests as purchasing through them included telemedicine appt to supervise my test. The process was extremely simple and easy to navigate and obtain the results.

    There is a costs for these tests - $70 - but that does cover 2 people

    1. Donna Diamond

      It’s one day, not 24 hours prior to departure.

    2. Will Guest

      Congratulations on your immense success with testing

  14. Vicente Guest

    Always travel with a few rapid kits. Great peace of mind to do a 15-minute test before a key meeting!

  15. rjb Guest

    CDC says less than 10,000 people died FROM covid. Others died WITH covid. big difference. Everything you have been told is either an outright lie or a half-truth. Masks don't do anything, BTW.

    Before you crazy covid people call me a lunatic, go to cdc.gov and read the reports. Look at the total number of deaths in the USA year by year.

    1. esokol New Member

      I just went to cdc.gov. Over 10,000 COVID deaths were reported in the last week alone.

    2. TD Guest

      Curious if you think January 6th at the capital was just a normal tourist day?

  16. tim Guest

    Hi Ben - the photo you have above is for the home monitored Ag-Card version which isn't included in the offer.. The one being given away is the "BinaxNow" version. Love your blog though :)

  17. RetiredATLATC Gold

    Kinda click-baity to use a photo of a BinaxNOW (approved for travel) test on the link to the story.

    1. RetiredATLATC Gold

      Nope, though it does say "New Member" (though I thought I posted a good bit).

      I get it, and they all do it.

    2. RetiredATLATC Gold

      I take back everything I said about click-bait....the govt just sent me our second 4 tests and they're BinaxNOW (not for travel).

  18. Alex Guest

    @Nathan, how is a disease that has already killed over 800,000 US citizens in less than two year “the average flu”? The flu kills and hospitalized far fewer people. Please stop promoting this idea that COVID is “no big deal”

    1. John Guest

      Because this disease has killed off, let's just say, less than healthy, folks. Comorbidities is thing.

  19. Chris Gold

    Actually, yes, in a way. The FAA handles all the 5G testing and puts up NOTAMS on which airport, what aircraft, with what equipment installed can operate at an airport with active 5G equipment.

  20. Mark Guest

    What a waste of tax dollars at this point. Biden is feckless.

    1. TD Guest

      We would t need the tests if Republicans would get vaccinated

    2. Jim Guest

      So only democrats get vaccinated that makes no sense at all

  21. Jill Guest

    These are worthless tests
    They needed CDC approval

  22. Santastico Guest

    If you have a household of more then 4 people you are out of luck. You then need to scramble to find a test that will cost you $40 when im Europe it costs €5 and it is available everywhere.

  23. Alan Gold

    Nearly useless and just another example of the US govt doing too little too late. These tests are not sensitive enough to detect covid shortly after exposure, although you can be infectious. I recently tested negative after my partner had a positive PCR test. Within a day, symptoms developed and of course my PCR test was then positive. You cannot trust the results to ensure you are truly negative while visiting family/friends.

  24. Jeff Guest

    I mean I get why they are mandating a residential address so people do not abuse but it really isn't fair to those who live in places without residential mail. I live in a semi-rural area (Vail, CO) that does not have residential mail service. I have a box at the UPS store - the PO Box version did not work nor did the actual physical street address because the USPS knows its a business,...

    I mean I get why they are mandating a residential address so people do not abuse but it really isn't fair to those who live in places without residential mail. I live in a semi-rural area (Vail, CO) that does not have residential mail service. I have a box at the UPS store - the PO Box version did not work nor did the actual physical street address because the USPS knows its a business, not residential address. Luckily the state of CO will send us tests but this seems unfair to folks in similar situations

  25. Jerry Diamond

    Are we positive these can't be used for travel? I've bought $9.99 OTC tests and just paid AZOVA to observe for $20. It's worked multiple times. Azova let's you choose what kind of test you have. If these are FDA approved, I don't see how you couldn't pay $20 for digital observation and a certificate.

  26. Cristina Guest

    This was truly very easy to submit! IT is useful to know if I may resume my normal life after testing positive on a PCR test.

  27. Rafa Guest

    These antigen test are worthless for asymptomatic people. I see this often where asymptomatic people test negative with antigen kit but are positive using PCR.
    Since the self tests, unsupervised kits are not approved for travel I see little value.
    I would use one only if symptomatic and needed confirmatory test in order to self isolate.

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      You are right in one respect. PCR tests are very sensitive while antigen tests are much less. Antigen tests are good for testing for for folks with relatively high viral loads (regardless of being symptomatic or asymptomatic) who are likely to be contagious. A negative antigen test may miss a very low level of virus but you are less likely to be contagious.
      And the turnaround time for antigen tests make it practical for...

      You are right in one respect. PCR tests are very sensitive while antigen tests are much less. Antigen tests are good for testing for for folks with relatively high viral loads (regardless of being symptomatic or asymptomatic) who are likely to be contagious. A negative antigen test may miss a very low level of virus but you are less likely to be contagious.
      And the turnaround time for antigen tests make it practical for getting an immediate result while a PCR test have much longer turnaround times.

    2. Vistaro Guest

      Not my experience, both my wife and I are in the UK and had no symptoms. The tests are available free in the UK and the guidance is “test twice a week or before you meet others” we tested before we went to meet friends and both of us were positive (both negative the previous day), we then followed up with PCRs which also showed positive so we then had to isolate. We would never...

      Not my experience, both my wife and I are in the UK and had no symptoms. The tests are available free in the UK and the guidance is “test twice a week or before you meet others” we tested before we went to meet friends and both of us were positive (both negative the previous day), we then followed up with PCRs which also showed positive so we then had to isolate. We would never have known without the tests and remained without symptoms until Day 9 when we tested negative.

  28. David Silverman Guest

    This is awesome! The US Govt. website where COVID tests will be available tomorrow at covidtests.gov is almost certain to crash, considering how many millions of people will likely be going to that site tomorrow to try to order tests. THANKS!!!

  29. JReg Guest

    Ben-I believe tests for travel into the USA have to be PNC tests.

    1. David Silverman Guest

      Not true...antigen tests are fine for travel to US. (And you meant PRC not PNC)
      And while this is not anything anyone can or should count on, we recently came back form the Maldives (with negative tests) but no one in US Customs/Immigration ever asked for our test results...or even asked if we had been tested. I've heard this from others as well.

    2. David Silverman Guest

      And I meant "from" not "form" :-)

    3. Mike Guest

      He actually means PCR :)

    4. Rafa Guest

      Responsibility for checking test results rests primarily on the airlines. They are the gatekeepers now. CBP don’t check and medical tests results.

  30. Steve Guest

    Test for return to the US must be within one day; not 24 hours! There is a difference.

  31. Kitty Guest

    Anyone having trouble ordering ? I tried to order however it says my addresses have been ordered so it appears someone had already stole my free kits addresses ! I have multiple residences different states and got hacked already all of them !

    1. Eskimo Guest

      While this might not recover your free test kits, this might give you an incentive to call the cops.

      The kits are processed by USPS,
      1. Falsifying information is mail fraud.
      2. Stealing mail is mail theft.
      The kits are also paid by the government, so that's 3. defrauding the US.
      All are federal crimes, felonies. That's jail time and huge fines.

  32. Scott Schultz Guest

    Been getting these for free for a long time here in the UK. You can order a box of 7 pretty much every day of the week. Can also just pop down to a pharmacy and they’ll hand you a box as well. Had a stockpile of them for a while. We have to test twice a week in order to come to work.

  33. AC Guest

    Why is everyone so excited about this? Are we that poor (or cheap) that getting something inexpensive for "free" is that exciting? I ordered 4 boxes of at home tests weeks ago (2 tests in each box) for my family just in case we got sick to see if we had COVID (don't have to test for work or travel and frankly not preemptively testing if no symptoms or very mild ones). The test cost...

    Why is everyone so excited about this? Are we that poor (or cheap) that getting something inexpensive for "free" is that exciting? I ordered 4 boxes of at home tests weeks ago (2 tests in each box) for my family just in case we got sick to see if we had COVID (don't have to test for work or travel and frankly not preemptively testing if no symptoms or very mild ones). The test cost about $20 a box so $80 total. That is NOTHING! I spend more than that on most meals. Just don't understand why people are that excited about "free" tests. Just like the idiots that sat in line for 3-4 hours to have a "free" test done - I am must happier paying $125 at the local pharmacy where I can walk right in and have my results in 30 minutes.

    We are quickly becoming an entitlement society where everyone has their hand out wanting something for nothing - so sad

    1. Joe Guest

      So, you have plenty of money. Great. Not everyone does.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      We are quickly becoming an elitist society where everyone who have money thinks they are above everyone else - so sad

  34. 380flyer Guest

    Ben whats your experience been with testing? Do you typically order test kits to travel with and re enter the us or use local options where you are traveling from?

    1. Dwayne Guest

      Great Question! Ben, I have seen many articles, but do you have an updated (weekly, bi-weekly) article that speaks to international testing requirements? Perhaps written in a way that most people will understand? I will be traveling with my family to London, then Ireland, then back to Londo..then back to the US in March. My head is spinning, just trying to figure out when, in what country, on what day....do we we need to take...

      Great Question! Ben, I have seen many articles, but do you have an updated (weekly, bi-weekly) article that speaks to international testing requirements? Perhaps written in a way that most people will understand? I will be traveling with my family to London, then Ireland, then back to Londo..then back to the US in March. My head is spinning, just trying to figure out when, in what country, on what day....do we we need to take the test to enter/exit which country!! I'm a project manager by trade...but even this is driving me mad!

    2. Mike Guest

      I can help. There are really only a couple brands of proctored (virtually monitored) self-tests that are accepted by the CDC and yes they are rapid antigen tests which are fine. Of course at your destination you can get whatever antigen test you can find locally.

      Ben should write an article on that.

    3. Nik Guest

      I would say to a certain degree even Ben cant tell you what the requirement for testing in any given country would be at a point in time since these rules change alot. What would be helpful is a link to the TSA or CDC equivalent of each country. Over the last two months I have visited Chile, Costa Rica, Belgium and Malta each with their own requirements and all my trips went smooth. However,...

      I would say to a certain degree even Ben cant tell you what the requirement for testing in any given country would be at a point in time since these rules change alot. What would be helpful is a link to the TSA or CDC equivalent of each country. Over the last two months I have visited Chile, Costa Rica, Belgium and Malta each with their own requirements and all my trips went smooth. However, in my research I found out that most travel websites are useless and just dont believe what people say. I was told by multiple people that Americans cant visit Belgium which even without reading I knew wasnt true specially if you are vaccinated. So I relied on the aforementioned websites of each country as well as the airport websites (since they also tell you what to expect on arrival). The only murky part is when you are transiting, since your destination country might not require testing but your transit country might require it (going to Malta via UK for example). So its a hassle but its better to research it yourself as you ll get varying answers from everybody, most of which are just hearsay or old.

  35. lefty Guest

    I recommend updating the cover photo for article as the test kit shown in it is approved for entering the country (BinaxNow Home Test) since it might cause some confusion.

    1. pstm91 Diamond

      This was my first thought too. Ben, I would definitely change the photo to avoid confusion.

    2. Mike Guest

      Totally agree. People are already confused enough. Let's not confuse them further with a misleading photo of a product that won't be what the government will ship out, nor will it work for international travel.

  36. Tahsin Guest

    While they may not be useful for the travel to US requirement, they can help if you're planning to visit family and need to make sure you're not infected (maybe need extra caution if they're immunocompromised, etc.), and also good for returning to work perhaps.

    1. Alan Gold

      Do not trust them for this purpose unless you have previously tested positive and now are just confirming after quarantine, that you are negative.

  37. John Guest

    I feel like these tests are "worthless" in terms of being able to do anything. Places require supervision or a PCR, so all these tests provide is a "feel good". Not sure how helpful that is in the grand scheme of things.

    1. Steve Diamond

      Agreed, But i do think its better than nothing. But unfortunately nothing we have tried or done so far has stopped this. Eventually we will all understand this is never going away and something we just have to live with.

    2. Santos Guest

      Of course. But once again, this was never about "stopping" COVID. It's about minimizing the spread so hospitals aren't overwhelmed. Which we have once again failed miserably at, because many people won't wear masks, won't get vaxxed and won't test themselves before going into public spaces where they can infect others. We can't have it both ways—we either give the virus maximum opportunity to spread or we don't. We're far enough along now to know...

      Of course. But once again, this was never about "stopping" COVID. It's about minimizing the spread so hospitals aren't overwhelmed. Which we have once again failed miserably at, because many people won't wear masks, won't get vaxxed and won't test themselves before going into public spaces where they can infect others. We can't have it both ways—we either give the virus maximum opportunity to spread or we don't. We're far enough along now to know what measures slow the spread without maximum disruption to society. It's up to the majority of people to do the right thing. But they won't. So yes, in that sense, we're stuck.

    3. Alan Gold

      What does getting vaxed have to do with minimizing the spread? In most countries now, the vaxed are more likely to be infected even on a per capita rate.
      If you use this type of test kit before going to into public, you are just fooling yourself. You can easily test negative and actually be positive. I know from personal experience.

    4. Alex Guest

      @Alan you are incorrect those who are vaccinated are less likely to get sick, have a lower viral load if they do get sick and are therefore less likely to spread COVID to other people.

    5. Steve Diamond

      @Alex unfortunately your claim on transmission has been proven to be incorrect with Omicron. Vax and Unvaxed spread it equally. You would be an idiot to not get a vaccine but to say vacinated dont spread it is a simple lie at this point.

      As for the tests i dont see much point in them with omircron considering you can start to feel bad take a test that is negative then you go about...

      @Alex unfortunately your claim on transmission has been proven to be incorrect with Omicron. Vax and Unvaxed spread it equally. You would be an idiot to not get a vaccine but to say vacinated dont spread it is a simple lie at this point.

      As for the tests i dont see much point in them with omircron considering you can start to feel bad take a test that is negative then you go about your day and interact with people and dont worry because you got a negative test when really the very next day or even if you took the test a couple hours later it would be a big positive. So unless you want to test everyday a couple of at home tests will do very little to nothing from stopping the spread.

    6. dantheman Member

      I think their sole use that gives them worth is that they're an easy way to test before a gathering with family or friends to see if you're contagious or not. As others have said, they really only come up positive if your viral load is high enough to be contagious.

      I also think the idea of "it's never going away and we have to live with it" (which i agree with btw) kind of...

      I think their sole use that gives them worth is that they're an easy way to test before a gathering with family or friends to see if you're contagious or not. As others have said, they really only come up positive if your viral load is high enough to be contagious.

      I also think the idea of "it's never going away and we have to live with it" (which i agree with btw) kind of misses the point. "Never going away" and "collectively doing our part to stop the spread through vaccines, testing, and masks to keep our hospital system from being overwhelmed" can both be true at the same time. This stuff is important to do until enough people are vaccinated or have immunity and we don't have to worry about the strain on our medical systems anymore. Then it's life as somewhat normal again.

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Santos Guest

Of course. But once again, this was never about "stopping" COVID. It's about minimizing the spread so hospitals aren't overwhelmed. Which we have once again failed miserably at, because many people won't wear masks, won't get vaxxed and won't test themselves before going into public spaces where they can infect others. We can't have it both ways—we either give the virus maximum opportunity to spread or we don't. We're far enough along now to know what measures slow the spread without maximum disruption to society. It's up to the majority of people to do the right thing. But they won't. So yes, in that sense, we're stuck.

5
VaxNWax Guest

The test I got by iHealth is able to to be used for travel, just go to the website, pay $20 for the video proctoring and voila, you're able to return to the US. The website says it's approved for travel if you pay...$20 for a test versus the $50 for Binax proctored test

3
rjb Guest

CDC says less than 10,000 people died FROM covid. Others died WITH covid. big difference. Everything you have been told is either an outright lie or a half-truth. Masks don't do anything, BTW. Before you crazy covid people call me a lunatic, go to cdc.gov and read the reports. Look at the total number of deaths in the USA year by year.

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