I recently learned that the association bonus does not allow one to answer protected questions on an SE site, as stated in What is a “protected” question?.

I also see it does not count towards the mortarboard badge (Should the Association Bonus count toward 200 points in one day?). Before this, I did not know there was any different between that and normal reputation.

So my question is are there any other differences between association bonus and earned reputation in terms of privileges/honors?

(There have also been proposals about not letting it count towards (certain) voting privileges (e.g., Prevent questions on Hot List from being upvoted by casual visitors (only rep is from association bonus)), but I guess they have not been enacted.)

1 Answer 1


There are no privileges handed out with your association bonus other than what you would normally have had using earned reputation.

There are two differences reputation-wise, as you have noted:

  • Association bonus does not count towards the reputation cap. It was somewhat hidden in the linked post about Motarboard, so this is just an extension of the rule described there. The association bonus goes in the same category as bounties, which don't count to the reputation cap (but do count for the badge).
  • The association bonus does not count toward the 10 reputation necessary to answer protected questions.

These are the only differences reputation-wise. There is no other difference compared to regular reputation. Your privileges are the same. You can up-vote, place a bounty, etc.

  • Thanks. BTW, does it count for rep rankings? I guess it should not for things like weekly rankings, but is it factored out of yearly or overall rankings, say? (If not, do bounties not count for rankings either?)
    – Kimball
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 21:00

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