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A similar question was asked but was somewhat colored by the implication that the questioner wanted to "pay" for assistance.

But I was wondering if there is a mechanism to award bonus points for an answer to a third party's question that I find extremely beneficial to my understanding. This is a bit different from offering a bounty since it's not my question.

Clearly I would upvote the answer, and possibly express my enthusiasm in a comment, but it's probably not a good idea to laden the thread with accolades.

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you didn't know, but you can award bounties to others' questions, too. In fact, one of the reasons is "Reward existing answer". $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Jun 19 '13 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ That's what bounties are for. If you think an answer deserves more rep than it's getting, you can pony up some of your rep to give to the deserving user. The "Investor" badge, in particular, is one way to encourage this behavior. $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Jun 19 '13 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin Thanks for letting me know. $\endgroup$ – user12802 Jun 19 '13 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M Thanks, that's what I was intending to do. $\endgroup$ – user12802 Jun 19 '13 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ @ˈjuː.zɚ79365, I've elected to extend Lord Farin's quite nice reply instead. :) $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Jun 19 '13 at 14:07
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Perhaps you didn't know, but you can award bounties to others' questions, too. (You can even get badges for this: Investor and Altruist (both bronze).)

In fact, one of the reasons one can give for instating a bounty is "Reward existing answer: One or more of the existing answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty":

screenshot of bounty popup

(Of course, the points involved in a bounty are deducted from your own reputation.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Have to wait 5 min to accept your answer. In the meantime, forgive me for being such a Luddite, but would you please tell me how to go about it for the answer to a question that I myself did not ask. Thanks $\endgroup$ – user12802 Jun 19 '13 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ The relevant help section and links in there should go a long way. Basically, you follow the "start a bounty" dialogue and select the relevant options. Awarding a bounty is similar to accepting a question; there's a "+50" (or whatever relevant amount of rep) button below the vote count and arrows, which you can click to award the bounty. $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Jun 19 '13 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I just stumbled on it. $\endgroup$ – user12802 Jun 19 '13 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ I add a side comment to recognize the site's top investor: 7300 points spent so far, all on other people's questions. $\endgroup$ – ˈjuː.zɚ79365 Jun 19 '13 at 14:35

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