How to spend reputation to get exposure and answers for questions.

Joel Bradley avatar
Written by Joel Bradley
Updated over a week ago

Tags | Bounties | Reputation |

Applies to: All Stack Overflow for Teams


Bounties are a way to encourage other users to answer a question by awarding reputation. If you've asked a good question but it remains unanswered, attaching a bounty to the question will draw attention to it and increase the chance of someone answering it. You can also attach bounties to questions written by other users.

You fund the bounty from your own reputation, allocating anywhere from 50 to 500 reputation to the bounty. After deciding how much you're willing to pay for an answer, Stack Overflow for Teams subtracts that amount from your reputation. A bounty is no guarantee someone will answer the question, and bounties are not refundable.

Bountied questions

One incentive for adding a bounty to a question is the increased exposure the question receives, increasing the likelihood that someone will answer the question. To increase exposure, bountied questions appear with a special indicator in all question lists.

You can also see bountied questions on the "Bountied" tab, where they'll remain for seven days.

Start a bounty

You can start a bounty on any eligible question at least two days old. To add a bounty, click Start a bounty at the bottom of the question. You can then allocate between 50 and 500 reputation in 50-point increments.

You can also choose from a list of bounty reasons to help other users understand why you're dissatisfied with any existing answers to the question.

Finally, you'll have the opportunity to add additional information about the bounty if desired. Click Start bounty to start your bounty on the question.

Award a bounty

After a short waiting period, you'll have seven days (plus a grace period) to award the new bounty. To award a bounty, click the bounty award icon next to the chosen answer. You can't award the bounty to your own answer.

Bounty timeline

To promote fairness and eliminate abuse of the bounty system, Stack Overflow for Teams enacts several rules pertaining to the awarding of bounties.

  • You can't award a bounty until 24 hours after you started it. This gives more users an opportunity to answer the question and earn the bounty.

  • An unawarded bounty ends after seven days. If you haven't awarded the bounty after seven days, Stack Overflow for Teams starts a 24-hour grace period for you to award the bounty.

  • If you haven't awarded a bounty after seven days plus the grace period, Stack Overflow for Teams will automatically award the bounty according to the following rules:

    • If the question was your own, and you accepted an answer during the bounty period, Stack Overflow for Teams will assume that answer was suitable and award it the full bounty.

    • If the question was your own and you didn't accept an answer during the bounty period, the highest-voted answer created after the bounty will receive half of the bounty. The highest-voted answer must have a score of 2 or more.

    • If the question was not your own, the highest-voted answer created after the bounty will receive half of the bounty. The highest-voted answer must have a score of 2 or more.

    • If two eligible answers have the same score, the older answer will receive half the bounty.

    • If no answers were received, or no answer has a score of 2 or more, the bounty goes unawarded.

Additional rules and restrictions

  • You can only have three active bounties at any given time.

  • Questions can only have one active bounty at any given time.

  • If you're adding a bounty to a question you've already answered, the minimum bounty is 100 reputation (not 50).

  • If you're adding multiple bounties on the same question, one after another, the minimum bounty doubles with each subsequent bounty (50 reputation for the first paid answer, 100 reputation for the second, 200 on the third, etc.).

  • Once you start a bounty, you can't cancel or alter it.

  • Bounties are not subject to the daily reputation limit (200 reputation per day from upvotes and downvotes).

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