I'm pretty sure an "Active Account" means that you are registered in the SE system, you are registered in FFXIV, and you had an active account prior to October 30(?) which means you were paying or would have paid for another month, at some point, if the severs were not going down. Hence logging into you SE account to register.
You don't have to have paid at any point during XIV service to have an active account. Anyone who purchased the game and registered it to a Square Enix ID is eligible for alpha/beta tests. You can freely activate and deactivate accounts still.
Having paid to play a crappy game doesn't make you special; at least... not in the way you think