Access tokens confer holders access to key premium features on a platform. The token resembles a tradable membership, in which members (token holders) get access to exclusive experiences and still have an asset they can resell to a future member. If the token is only required for *premium* features, somewhat like a VIP membership, then the design enables those without tokens to still use the platform, while rewarding VIP members who do acquire tokens. Such a model reduces barriers to adoption by creating a pathway for new users to experience firsthand the value of the platform before going out and seeking tokens to enhance their experience.
This is different from a contribution token in that the holder does not need to perform work to earn the benefit, although access-to-feature tokens still often require holders to stake tokens as a collateral against some kind of misbehavior. The method is also an objective and transparent way to distribute benefits across the community.