I am sorry if I didn't make it clear, I was indeed talking about requesting a credit limit increase and not applying for new card.
If initiating the CLI when not eligible (like less than 61 days from account opening, or not enough time after previous CLI request), the CLI request will not processed and there will not be hard inquiry. What I have seen is some people requested but got a pending message saying wait 7-10 days for response. Then, there is someone claiming to get a hard inquiry
(myFICO), even if he ultimately got approved. I have also seen other people receive pending after requesting CLI and see hard inquiry alert from credit monitoring services, though I shall not post link since the source is non-English.
Really no need of quarrel, I just have seen people saying they get hard inquiry before, though generally it's soft. Back to the CLI issue, I agree that OP should not be afraid.