A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..... Oh wait that is a different game.
Anyway, some time ago financial "experts" and "analysts" all got together and said. "You know, it seems to me that if we give customers a "not now" option when it comes to subscriptions, generally speaking, this percentage will never subscribe. If we just require it from the get go, this percentage of lazy customers will never sign back in to cancel their subscription and we can just bill them at will." And the idea of "auto billing" was born.
Either way you need a sub to play. So sub up and get on with it.
Star Trek Online does require a subscription to play. Your purchase of the retail copy includes the software, and the first 30 days of gameplay time. We do require you to input your payment information at registration, but we will not charge you until your 30 days are up. If you decide to cancel your subscription at any time during those thirty days, you will not be charged.