Your Pledging Options in the 'Verse
On this webpage, I do my best to explain each Star Citizen game package and make recommendations to you based on my experience.
The first thing you will need is an account with Roberts Space Industries. You can sign up using the link below, which includes a code that will provide you with a free 5,000 UEC just for making your account at no cost. There's no rush, just come back to this page after you've confirmed your account.
The first important consideration is that there are Packages and Standalone Ships. Because you are new to the game, you will need a package to participate in the open alpha. At this time all game packages include everything needed to play in the Persistent Universe Alpha/Beta. A standalone ship does not, so I will not be covering them. You only need ONE package, so buying multiple is of no use at this time.
Value/Budget Packages: $45
The most common and affordable packages purchased is the Aurora MR package and the Mustang Alpha package. Each one contains a hangar, starting money (1,000 UEC), 3-month insurance, and the Star Citizen game pre-order. They are conveniently found in the FLY NOW section of the website, but I don't recommend these.
It's little known, but there is an upgraded Aurora package, the AURORA LN, which contains all the features of the Aurora MR package, but with the upgraded LN version. This means that you start with two more laser cannons, a missile pylon (missiles included), a better power plant, shields, and ballistic armor, all of which are missing from the MR. Hands down the better deal.
Higher Level Packages:
Even if you want to start at a higher level, I still recommend getting the Aurora LN package mentioned above. The reason is simple: The LN package is undervalued by $10.
Star Citizen has a pledge UPGRADE TOOL, which allows you to keep your game package benefits while upgrading the ship you start the game with. This means that should you decide that you've outgrown your Aurora you can trade it in for a larger ship at a $10 discount compared to buying the more expensive ship package outright.
Remember, by enlisting at the link above, you also get $5 of in-game credit. You can't use this to upgrade your ship model, but you can use it towards purchasing ship upgrades like better shields or different weapons.
I hope you found this information helpful, and I'll see you in the 'Verse!