Manager Phil Brown insisted Hull retained their Premier League status on merit, despite their survival coming as a result of defeats for their rivals.
Newcastle's loss at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough's defeat by West Ham meant Hull's 1-0 reverse at home to Manchester United was irrelevant.
Brown said: "We absolutely deserved to stay up and have a second year in the Premier League.
"We got more points than the bottom three clubs - it is a simple as that."
Hull knew they had their fate in their own hands going into the match with United but they were unable to be masters of it by securing a victory that would have guaranteed their safety.
Fortunately for the Tigers, who went down to a superb goal from United youngster Darron Gibson, Newcastle and Middlesbrough could not take advantage.
What we lacked in outright quality we had to make up for in blood, guts and commitment
Hul chairman Paul Duffen
Brown added: "It is the biggest thing I have ever done in my football career. Promotion to the Premier League last year was fantastic but this is absolutely brilliant.
"It was a strange afternoon. They scored a wonder goal from just outside the box.
"Once we went behind we always had a mountain to climb - especially against the quality of Manchester United's team - no-one can question the quality of their line-up."
Chairman Paul Duffen insists Hull will learn from their first season in the Premier League as they start preparations for the next campaign.
Duffen told BBC Radio Five Live: "We limped across the line but we did it and now we've got the chance to learn from our first campaign, strengthen in the summer, and go forward next year a lot wiser."
Hull's survival was as much down to the woeful form of the Magpies and Boro as it was to their own performances.
The Tigers, who had taken 20 points from their first nine-top flight games, won only one of their last 22 games, picking up a miserly eight points out of a possible 66.
But their early-season form proved crucial as they avoided the drop by one point.
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