I was just awarded +100 reputation on all of my Stack Exchange accounts.

What is this bonus for? It simply says "Association Bonus" on my reputation overview.


  • What privileges does the association bonus grant users?
  • Can I lose the association bonus?
  • Does it make my reputation 101 everywhere?
  • Can I earn the association bonus on sites I haven't joined yet?
  • Does it matter which site I earn the 200 reputation on?
  • Will I get an association bonus every time my reputation on a site crosses 200 points?
  • Does the association bonus allow me to answer protected questions?
  • Does the association bonus count towards the reputation cap?
  • Can I get the association bonus if I only have a profile on one site?
  • What else is there to know about the association bonus?

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1 Answer 1


Congratulations! One of your linked accounts has reached 200 reputation points, and as a result, all associated accounts are given a 100 point bonus.

What is the "association bonus"?

The Association Bonus is a block award of 100 reputation granted on all of a user's network profiles, including ones created after the bonus is awarded. It is awarded when a user's account has accumulated 200+ reputation on any one site in the network, provided they have profiles on at least two sites. This bonus gives users who have shown some basic understanding of how the Stack Exchange system works a boost past the initial site restrictions on sites where they have low reputation.

What privileges does this grant users?

On all sites, newly created site profiles and existing ones with 1 reputation will, upon receiving the bonus, have 101 reputation and be granted the following:

  • 5 reputation
    • participate in meta - Discuss the site itself: bugs, feedback, and governance
  • 10 reputation
    • remove new user restrictions - Post more links
    • create wiki posts - Create answers that can be easily edited by most users
  • 15 reputation
    • flag posts - Bring content to the attention of moderators via flags
    • vote up - Indicate when questions and answers are useful
  • 50 reputation
    • comment everywhere - Leave comments on other people's posts
  • 75 reputation
    • set bounties - Offer some of your reputation as a bounty on a question
  • 100 reputation:
    • edit community wiki - Collaborate on the editing and improvement of wiki posts

Additionally, such profiles on the following specific sites will be granted the following site-specific privileges:

  • Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Exchange
    • 20 reputation
      • talk in chat: Participate in chat rooms on the corresponding site-specific chat servers1
  • Meta Stack Exchange
    • 100 reputation
      • vote down: Indicate when questions or answers are not helpful
  • Stack Apps
    • 99 reputation
      • create tags: Add new tags to the site
  • Private beta sites
    • 1 reputation
      • vote down: Indicate when questions or answers are not helpful
      • create tags: Add new tags to the site
      • view close votes: View and cast close votes on your own questions
    • 15 reputation
      • cast close and reopen votes: Help decide whether posts are off-topic or duplicates
    • 100 reputation
      • established user: See vote count breakdowns

Existing site profiles whose reputation is already greater than 1 may earn additional privileges.

Can I lose the association bonus?

You can lose the bonus reputation on a single site through the normal means: giving it away in bounties, getting downvoted, having a post deleted as spam or abusive, etc.

However, once you earn the association bonus rights, you can't lose them. If you've ever accumulated 200 reputation on one site, you can keep the bonus everywhere and continue to earn it on newly created site profiles even if you would no longer qualify for the bonus; for example, if you drop below 200 reputation on the site you earned it, you delete your site profile which originally exceeded 200 reputation, or you qualified for an association bonus through participation on Stack Overflow for Teams which no longer grants the bonus.

This applies even after you delete all your site profiles and your network account: if you later rejoin the network using the same credentials you earned the bonus on, you'll have it again.2

Does it make my reputation 101 everywhere?

It is a block of 100 reputation, so your final reputation on any site depends on the reputation you had on that site before receiving the bonus. All sites end up with n+100 reputation where n is your starting reputation before the association bonus. So, on sites where you only had 1 reputation, you will now have 101; if you had 58 reputation, you would now have 158. This is inclusive of the site that reached 200+ reputation - you will have 300+ reputation on that site.

Can I earn the association bonus on sites I haven't joined yet?

Yes. Any site you join after earning the reputation bonus will be immediately awarded the bonus upon joining.

Does it matter which site I earn the 200 reputation on?

Any public Q&A site - even beta sites and Meta Stack Exchange count. Area 51 is different and participation there does not count towards receiving the association bonus, but you can still earn the bonus reputation there through participation on another site.

In the past, it was possible to earn the association bonus by participating and earning 200 reputation in a Stack Overflow for Teams site; this was changed on 2020-02-04 so Teams participation no longer counts toward earning the bonus. (Users who previously earned it through a Team will not have it revoked; see Can I lose the association bonus? above.)

Will I get an association bonus every time my reputation on a site crosses 200 points?

No. You get the association bonus only once, when one of your site profiles is the first to reach 200 reputation.

Does the association bonus allow me to answer protected questions?

No. If you have the association bonus rights, your personal reputation threshold for answering protected questions increases to 110. This effectively requires that you have locally earned reputation on a site (i.e. explicitly participated in the site itself, not just the network). The reasoning behind this limitation is discussed at Allow people to answer protected questions if they have earned at least some amount of combined SE rep.

(Exception: on per-site metas, you can answer protected questions with the association bonus reputation, provided your corresponding main site reputation doesn't fall below 10.)

Does the association bonus count towards the reputation cap?

It does not. Much like bounties, +15 from having an answer accepted, and +2 from accepting someone else's answer, the association bonus does not count towards your daily reputation cap on any site.

Can I get the association bonus if I only have a profile on one site?

No. The association bonus is only triggered if you have joined more than one site. As such, someone can be a long-time member of a single site without ever earning the association bonus, but, upon joining a second site, will receive it (on both sites).


There are a couple other changes that occur as a result of your gaining the network association bonus rights:

  • Your reputation on Stack Exchange Chat (the sum of the rep you've earned on all sites, used for measuring your privileges there) will only include accounts where you have at least 200 reputation. This is to prevent those with the bonus rights from simply creating new accounts to inflate their total rep and gain privileges on chat. The bonus +100 rep on eligible sites (where you have at least 200 total rep) will still count. (This doesn't apply to Stack Overflow Chat or Meta Stack Exchange Chat, which will still use your total rep on the respective sites.)
  • You won't be notified of earning most bronze non-tag badges on main Q&A sites and Meta Stack Exchange, with the exception of certain ones considered "veteran". (Note that you never receive notifications of earning these badges on per-site metas)


  • For protected questions, the association bonus rep is only subtracted out for the check to see if the user can answer; it is not subtracted out for other checks, such as whether to automatically protect a question or whether 15k+ users are allowed to protect the question. In other words, while a user with the association bonus and no other rep changes can't answer protected questions, their answers aren't considered as being "from a new user" for those other purposes.

  • There is a known issue where if you cross the 200+ threshold as a result of a reputation recalculation (e.g. you were serially downvoted, earned rep from others' votes, and then the script reversed the serial downvotes granting you 200+ rep), you may not earn the bonus. If you run into this, contact Stack Exchange and they'll fix it for you.

1 Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Exchange have their own, separate chat servers, so chatting on them requires having 20 reputation on those specific sites, which can be earned through the association bonus. On the other hand, the association bonus is not required to chat on the general Stack Exchange chat server which hosts rooms for all other SE sites; that only requires a total of 20 rep earned on all sites. (Reputation earned on sites with site-specific servers does count toward that total.)

2 If your network account is deleted in a manner which removes all personal information (e.g. through a GDPR erasure request, if your account was deleted as underage, etc.), you won't retain bonus rights.

  • 2
    Was there a particular reason that a 100 point block was chosen? Was that above the level of most of the starter restrictions? Was it just a nice big round number that DIDN'T push inactive people into the local leaderboard?
    – pcurry
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 16:49
  • @pcurry It was chosen because it gets people past the basic new user restrictions, without giving them too many privileges. (It's also worth noting that users need at least 200 reputation to qualify for the reputation leagues.) Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 17:41
  • @Catija My intent with that edit was to better imply that the association bonus grants users the ability to talk in chat rooms hosted on the site-specific servers (SO chat and MSE chat), which wouldn't otherwise be granted if the user didn't earn 20 rep on those specific sites. On the other hand, anyone with 20 rep anywhere (even if they have earned only 10 rep on two sites) will be able to chat on SE chat. Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 18:38
  • 1
    @SonictheBracketedHedgehog and anyone who earned 200 rep on SO and had no rep on SE gets access to the SE server rooms. There's no difference.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 18:40
  • @Catija Actually, there is a difference; you can talk on general SE rooms with just 20 rep on any site, even if that site also happens to have a site-specific server. That doesn't require the association bonus. On the other hand, talking on the site-specific servers does require the association bonus if one has no rep on the corresponding sites. Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 18:43
  • 1
    You're misreading what I said. Having 20 rep on SO does not give access to chat.se. So it applies to all three servers.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 18:51
  • 1
    @Catija Actually, someone did some testing and found that they were able to chat on Chat.SE with only an SO account and no association bonus. Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 11:39
  • 6
    It is pretty inconsistent. First a message is displayed like "We gave you 100 points because we trust you on other SE sites". Then for protected questions where just 10 points are needed you are not allowed to answer even with 100 points. It means that SE actually does not trust you.
    – mentallurg
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 21:10
  • 1
    That's cool, but why I was awarded these points many months after I have scored 200 points in the first site? I have accounts on dozens of stack exchange sites for years. Commented Dec 25, 2019 at 20:01
  • @Catija From what I understand, those who previously earned the bonus through Teams participation but wouldn't qualify under the new rules still get to keep their bonus, right? Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 21:13
  • 3
    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog We pretty much never rescind the association bonus, so... yes.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 21:14
  • @AndréBaptista If your accounts aren't linked, the association bonus likely will not apply.
    – TylerH
    Commented Dec 11, 2020 at 19:25
  • 1
    If I had exactly 201 rep on StackOverflow, then went to Meta Stackexchange, then the reputation on my StackOverflow account will also increase by 100. Is this intentional? Commented Dec 4, 2021 at 17:59
  • 2
    @user1280483 this is specifically explained in the section under the header "Does it make my reputation 101 everywhere?"
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 4, 2021 at 19:21

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