I'm curious because I'm in the exact same situation. For the first time in the almost 2 years I've had the card, I got the soft pull language. But when I pulled the lever, all I got was an instant denial.
Once I saw the verbiage I tried every other day or every third day. Took about 10ish days for it to go through.
Truth be told I thought it would go through eventually because when I recently checked prequals I was pre approved for every card at best terms.
I think Citi likes my file again because my HPs from past 12 months are down to 2 or 3 on my reports.
Interesting. I can't say the same for myself, as I never find a prequalification there. So maybe I'll just wait until my score changes, and maybe even wait until I see a prequal up there for me.