This doesn't follow. The fact that they've earned that currency- fine. They'll get them. But that doesn't mean they've earned the reputation. They still have to acquire that.
You're treating the currency and the reputation like they're interchangeable, when that's obviously not the case.
Having to earn the reputation I can understand. I don't like it, but I get it. People have to grind the reputation to earn higher tiers of rewards. I get that. The thing is, they already have the currency. If they want to spend the currency they've earned on tier 1 rewards because they haven't achieved enough reputation to unlock other tiers, shouldn't that be their choice? Why should people be forced to wait until after they spend months grinding through reputation to use currency that they have already earned?
That's what gets me. People have the currency. Why are they not being allowed to use it? Are the devs worried about a massive amount of tier 1 rewards flooding the market, or something? I understand it's for people who did the long grind to be able to buy the tier 5 stuff as soon as they unlock the tier, but it's the player's currency, and they should have the choice as to what they do with it.