I want to get some templates, but was wondering if there are any free templates, or if all of them require premium, and if so, what’s the point in even getting an account?
The point is so that you could buy an item?
There are monthly free items (bottom of the home page) and some free WP themes, but freebies don’t come with any support or updates like full items from the various marketplaces
The Envato Marketplaces are stores where premium quality items are sold, there’s no real free items offered, except for at the beginning of each month one item from each marketplace is selected to be given away for free for only that month, after that it’s no longer free.
Having an account lets you keep track of the items you’ve purchased, letting you download them from anywhere you can access your account, and having the licenses be easily accessible if you ever need them. In case you want support on an item, or even a refund, your account is essential so that the authors or Envato Support can confirm that you really did purchase an item. Plus having an account lets you ask questions on the forum like this :). There are no premium accounts, making one is completely free.
You may be thinking of Envato Elements, which is completely separate from the Envato Marketplaces, that’s a paid subscription to have unlimited access to items ONLY on Elements, so don’t confuse the two. Think of it as buying a movie at a store vs Netflix; at a store you pay to see each movie individually, while with Netflix you pay a monthly flat rate and can watch as much as you want, and Netflix also offers exclusive shows/movies which are only available to watch through Netflix. It’s exactly the same thing with Elements vs the Marketplaces.