As well as a host of other changes, with patch 3.6, you now get free stuff just for logging into rift each day.
The rewards are shown on this calendar when you log in.
Rewards for each month include Currency Marks, Crafting materials, Consumables, Artifacts, Affinity, Dream orbs, Planar Attunement experiance and more.
There are only 21 days each month you need to log in to claim all rewards so you don't even have to log in every day, and it resets at the end of each calendar month. You do not need to log in on consecutive days, any 21 days of the month will do.
Note: Dream Orbs used to be obtained via the Rift store for affinity currency, so only Patrons could obtain them, but now with them on this calendar and affinity as a reward too, everyone can obtain these enchants for their gear.
You are also remindered when you log out, what tomorrows reward will be.
Some of this stuff used to be the reserve of Patrons, but everyone can claim these rewards, regardless of account status.