The nil-nil draw at home to Reading was enough to secure automatic promotion.
Last season, safety was confirmed on the final day as well, when Harry Redknapp came into to steady the ship after Gianfranco Zola's troubled tenure in charge.
Neil Warnock's men earned a record eighth promotion for their manager, but made hard work of a scrappy Reading side.
Instead, Cardiff finish runners-up in the league, completing a dramatic turnaround under Warnock, who becomes the first manager to seal promotion to the top flight with four different teams.
But David Wheater (87) and Aaron Wilbraham (88) scored to keep northwest side Bolton in the division to the delight of their delirious home crowd.Elsewhere, bottom club Sunderland stunned champions Wolves 3-0, in front of prospective new owner Stewart Donald.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers had already secured not only one of the automatic spots, but also the Championship title, leaving the Bluebirds and the Cottagers to fight for easier passage to the Premier League.
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Here is a photo diary of the celebrations inside Cardiff City Stadium.
True to his words, it was indeed a remarkable year for Etheridge.
It was a disappointing day for several Irish players in the Championship.
"It's been a wonderful 24 hours for me and the family", Warnock said.
An England schoolboy and Philippines worldwide, due to his mother, he nearly gave up on the dream four years...
Speaking on the Sports Breakfast on Monday, he said: "All the times I have been in the Premier League prior, I felt a bit let down by the chairmen if I'm honest. It's creating history. I'm very proud of my national team, we've got to the Asian Cup for the first time and I'm the first south-east Asian player to get promoted and, hopefully, to play in the Premier League next season".