A point was enough to spark scenes of joy at the Cardiff City Stadium as the club reached the top flight for the first time since 1962, an achievement now worth an estimated £60 million in terms of TV revenue and sponsorship.
Malky Mackay's class of 2013 had goalkeeper David Marshall to thank for a string of fine saves to keep out the in-form Addicks before the final whistle sparked memorable scenes in the Welsh capital 53 years to the day since they last achieved promotion to the top tier.
Marshall's best save came in the 21st minute when Johnnie Jackson's curling left-footed free-kick was superbly tipped on to his near post.
Watford in third place lost 1-0 at Millwall thanks to a 83rd-minute strike from Shaun Batt - although the result was immaterial as far as the Bluebirds were concerned after their point - while second-placed Hull went down 1-0 at relegation-threatened Wolves, Ireland striker Kevin Doyle hitting the winner 10 minutes into the second half.
That means Cardiff are seven points clear of the Tigers in the race for the title with three games remaining.
Cardiff failed in the play-offs for three straight seasons and the year before that suffered a dramatic collapse to finish seventh and outside the play-offs.
It will be the first time that Wales has had two teams in the English top flight, with Swansea already in the Premier League.
Cardiff finished as runners-up in the old First Division in 1923-24 and won the FA Cup in 1927. Swansea won their first major trophy in the League Cup this year, beating Bradford in the final, and will play in Europe next season.
Cardiff City's manager Malky Mackay celebrates at the final whistle (PA)
Watford are still to secure their play-off place, being eight points ahead of Bolton in seventh.
Wanderers lost 3-2 at Leicester in a match that saw the Foxes climb above them and Nottingham Forest into sixth. Forest lost 1-0 at Middlesbrough.
Bristol City were relegated after a 1-0 home loss to Birmingham, which leaves them 10 points behind Barnsley, who were pegged back in the last minute at home to Derby to draw 1-1.
Huddersfield dropped into the bottom three with a 1-0 loss at Blackburn - their former striker Jordan Rhodes scoring the only goal - while Wolves jumped up two places from second-bottom with their three points.
Peterborough's goalless draw at home to Brighton, like Wolves, keeps them out of the relegation zone on goal difference. Albion climb one place to fourth as Crystal Palace were battered 3-0 at Ipswich.
Sheffield Wednesday earned a valuable point, drawing 0-0 at Blackpool, and in mid-table Leeds beat Burnley 1-0 at home.