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Today I found an answer I want to award a bounty on. So once I was done, the system correctly immediately reduced my reputation by X amount.

I was thinking I would be able to earn 200 rep + X but that doesn't appear to be the case. Can anyone clarify?

Again, I am awarding bounty, not receiving.

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This main meta post Allow rep lost to the repcap to be used for bounties is, in a sense, the "reverse" of your question. The principle is the same in both cases: it is not possible to "recycle" reputation lost due to repcap into awarding bounty.

The main reason for this design is that allowing such "recycling" would increase work for StackExchange employees lead to various problems, such as:

  • Providing for a "reserve" reputation would make the calculations more complex.
  • The bounty system would become less effective, since high reputation users would have plenty of "reserve" reputation to award lots of bounties.
  • As a corollary to the above point, the system would also be a little more unfair to the new users. They would have to play the bounty game with their "real" reputation, while the high reputation users can play it with "reserve" reputation, which is analogous to allowing rich people to gamble with Monopoly notes.
  • The concept of a repcap will reduce to a farce be taken less seriously. Enjoy your real reputation drink, and then come back for unlimited refills of reserve reputation.
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Reading How does Reputation Work the following statement is provided:

You can earn a maximum of +200 reputation from upvotes and suggested edits in any given day. Bounties and the bonuses for accepted answers are counted separately (source). Reputation “lost” from the reputation cap is not awarded on following days.

You could earn those X reputation back if you managed to win a bounty for X amount or several that sum up to that, or if you got several (14 to get 210 rep) accepted answers.

However, following the logic in that quote, you can only get 200 rep from upvotes and suggested edits (which you no longer get :/), so even though you got more of them you will not recover that rep you offered as bounty.

Edit: Found this Meta SE post where @TylerCarter explain in depth this situation, extracting some key points from it:

  • Q: Does paying a bounty actually reduce the reputation cap still? A: No
  • Q: After paying a bounty, am I considered to "reach" the reputation cap after getting 200 reputation worth of upvotes, or getting a net daily gain of +200 reputation from upvotes? A: 200 reputation period. Not net, but period.

... and some other explanation in that post. This seems to match the logic above explained; after you award your bounty, you could still earn 200 rep from votes to rep cap.

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