Must resist M:tG. Boardgames are my methadone :)
I'm not sure how much clearer the card text could be. It says "I now spend 10 influence", not "I spent 10 influence during the Action Phase". IE, it's saying "Spend 10 influence RIGHT NOW to get the point".
I see your point. Perhaps the 'now' should have been bold as in your post?
I think the spend part is whats causing the confusing. People wonder if spending the resoursses on other things triggers a qualification for the card.