Cardiff sealed its return to the Premier League after a four-year absence by claiming the final automatic promotion spot in the second-tier League Championship at the expense of Fulham on Sunday.
With a 0-0 draw at home to Reading, Cardiff joined champion Wolverhampton Wanderers in going up to the world's most lucrative league as its 69-year-old manager, Neil Warnock, earned a record eighth promotion in English football.
The Welsh club finished two points ahead of Fulham, which lost 3-1 at Birmingham to end its 23-game unbeaten run in the league. A win would have lifted the London club above Cardiff.
Instead, Fulham heads into the playoffs with Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Derby, with one more promotion berth up for grabs. Fulham takes on Derby and Villa will be up against Middlesbrough over two games. The playoff final is at Wembley Stadium on May 26.
Warnock, one of the most charismatic managers in the English game, gets a fourth shot in charge of a Premier League club after stints with Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace.
The final whistle was delayed at Cardiff City Stadium because of a pitch invasion in the final minute of injury time. There was another one after full time, when Cardiff's Malaysian owner, Vincent Tan, was carried on the shoulders of fans.