When we gained the ability to buy EQ2 subscriptions 1, 3, 6, or even 12 months in advance on the StationCash Marketplace, players rejoiced. With Double and Triple SC weekends, compounded with those handy Walmart bonus SC cards, players have been able to get EQ2 subscriptions for as little as $3.33 a month. However there was an eventual price to be paid for this price discount.
EQ2 Subscribers who have paid in advance for their subs with StationCash have had trouble buying Character Transfer Tokens, and been unable to Gift StationCash. We've talked about this in the past, and players reported in suggestions on how to work around the limits.
Now, Matt G has gone on the record with the reasoning for this delineation between Recurring and Non-recurring Subscriptions, and what steps you can take to access these features...
I can't really get in to the business logic, since decisions like this are made well above my head. However, perhaps I can give some perspective on the issue.
Station Cash subs do get slightly less in terms of privileges, for a few reasons.
For one, SC subs can be "cheaper" - if you're clever, there are a number of ways to get more sub time for your dollar with SC.
Aside of that, special privileges (such as gifting and a 500SC per month stipend) are given to recurring members as they've made a commitment to us. Even though you have the right to cancel at any time, you've made a commitment to keep paying for your account, and as such we reward you with some free SC and gifting rights.
There is also the account security side of this to consider. Many users fund their SC wallets well in advance (like when we're doing a double SC sale). If your account were to fall in to the wrong hands, it'd be a real shame for them to be able to log in, spend your SC on a membership, then gift away all your remaining SC, or transfer your characters to other servers. The requirement to put down a credit card, and wait 7 days is an extremely effective deterrant for these sort of actions. Yes, the gifting thing could still be a concern if you're an active, recurring member - however if you're actively playing you're very likely to notice a change/problem with your account and get it rectified with us quickly. Whereas if you're not active, someone could do all this to your account without spending a dime (if we allowed SC subs to gift) and you might not notice until months later, and nobody wants to return to a mess!
I hope this helps shed some light on the differences between recurring credit card subs and SC. Just to re-iterate however, exceptions to this policy can be made on a case by case basis if you contact support. Give us a call or submit a ticket, we're actually quite friendly, and willing to accomodate most anyone who falls within or very close to within our parameters for gifting/transfers.