No deal. I currently have HBO Go via paying a relative who has normal cable access and sharing the password. This way HBO Go costs me exactly $20/mo: what I would expect to pay to HBO directly. I also wouldn't be tied to Comcast which isn't bad in my area but isn't great either.
Sarcasm? I am just stating my view on this since it is relevant. My point is that this offer is not good enough for me to switch to a different mode of operation. I will gladly pay HBO directly, but I refuse to endorse the continuation of this telco + network model.
To activate the credit cards? I'm pretty sure you don't - you just need to plug in any old address and phone number online which aren't verified (at least with the gift card ones), kind of like a burner cell phone.
You might need to get European cards, though, and I'm not sure how they work over there or how easy they are to get.
HBO right now has a huge lead in terms of content over Netflix. By dragging out the unleashing of HBO Go they are actually letting Netflix catch up to them. They know that untying themselves from Cable is their route in the long term but are dragging it out (probably because Comcast pays them handsomely for it). But by dragging it out they will hurt their long term attractiveness. It only takes bad bets on new content over a couple of years to make people doubt HBO, given Netflix is also making their own content now.
When I read the title I was excited that I would finally be able to buy what would really help them kill Netflix: Let me pay for a cable subscription and stream it anywhere over whatever connection I have. I'd even accept DRM restricted video streams at this point.
Looks like they already offer this, but only for new customers. I pay $65 per month for ~25 Mbps of broadband, but with this newer plan it'd be $70 with the same broadband service but comes with 10 basic channels plus HBO. I'd be totally up for that but it's only for new customers, I have no idea why. I don't feel like calling to find out.