Benefits of Google AdWords Certification Program?

Google has retired their old Google Advertising Professionals certification and replaced it with a Google AdWords Certification Program. Under the previous program, you paid 50 bucks to take an exam and if you passed with at least 75% questions answered correctly, you get to put a fancy official badge on your website and other promotional materials. I passed the exam earlier this year and did just that. I did it more for my own sake just in case any potential clients asked whether or not I had the certification.

Now, you have to take 2 exams at $50 each in order to qualify as a Google AdWords Certification professional. My previous certification was not set to expire for another 4 months, so essentially I paid $50 for 8 months for what I thought I was going to be able to use for 12 months.

So now I am faced with the dilemma of forking over $100 to qualify as a Google AdWords professional under the new program. And who knows how long Google will keep these requirements before they make you spend another $50 to pass another exam? There’s no doubt that I will pass the exams since I use AdWords on a daily basis, but I’m wondering whether or not it even makes any sense at all to be qualified. I have never gotten a new client because of my AdWords certification and I wasn’t all of a sudden able to jack my rates up for my existing PPC clients. So, can somebody please tell me what exactly the benefits are of paying Google to take tests just for a fancy badge?