Kendall's first goal for a month was decisive for the Bantams as they completed the domestic campaign with maximum points at the Alexandra Stadium.
The Hull City loanee replaced injured Gareth Evans early on and he was on target to bag a 67th-minute winner.
Winger Kendall latched on to a quick free-kick from Michael Flynn and slotted underneath helpless Crewe goalkeeper Adam Legzdins.
Earlier striker Evans had a close-range header well-saved by Legzdins, while at the other end Clayton Donaldson wasted a free header for the hosts.
Legzdins produced a brilliant fingertip save to deny Flynn late on and Kendall could have had a second, but his sweetly-struck volley was straight at the goalkeeper.
Peter Taylor's side finish 14th in the final standings after their strong finish to the season.
Taylor was understandably happy with his side as the visitors' victory ended a four-match unbeaten run for the Railwaymen.
"I'm delighted for the players, we've had a really good run until the end of the season," said Taylor. "I couldn't have asked for any more from the boys, I thought we thoroughly deserved our win."
Crewe Alexandra: Legzdins, Ada, Brayford, Westwood, Tootle, Walton (Davis 74), Grant (Shelley 75), Bailey, Murphy, Donaldson, Zola. Unused substitutes: Schumacher, Miller, Mitchell-King, Leitch-Smith, Turton.
Bradford City: McLaughlan, Ramsden, Rehman, Threfall, Williams, Flynn, Bullock, Grant (Neilson 83), Bolder (L O'Brien 65), Evans (Kendall 31), Osborne. Unused substitutes: Convey, Home, Dean, J O'Brien.
City man of the match: Ryan Kendall.
Referee: S Cook (Surrey).
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