Trade rep for air miles
How to convert your Stackoverflow's reputation into money?
The idea is ultimately monetizing the stackoverflow reputation so that people can actually buy/sell services/goods and other stuff using the stackoverflow reputation. In a first phase this can be used only among stackoverflow users but in time the reputation can be exported so that in can be used outside the stackoverflow system. It's like what banks do now... In the end a currency is a way to measure the value somebody feeds into the system, and also how trustworthy that person is, and this is pretty much the same thing reputation is doing. So why not?
The benefit of this would be that people who spend a lot of their energies providing value ( earning reputation ) would actually be able to benefit from their effort in the real world.