Two goals from Matt Ritchie and one from Harry Arter saw off the mid-table Addicks on their home turf, who were outclassed from the off and were two down within 12 minutes..
And there was a surprise at the end when news of a last-gasp equaliser for Wednesday at Watford meant Eddie Howe’s free-scoring side had also climbed above the Hornets into pole position.
Bournemouth looked a class above from the off with Yann Kermorgant firing a free-kick against the Charlton wall, Callum Wilson forcing goalkeeper Stephen Henderson into a near-post save and Kermorgant and Marc Pugh following up with off-target efforts.
Alou Diarra replied with a miscued effort at the other end that ended up in the away end but a goal was coming and it was no surprise that Bournemouth scored it.
Kermorgant was the provider by laying the ball back to Ritchie – and the winger arrived at speed on the left of the box to plant a first-time effort beyond Henderson and in off a post.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 as chaos in the home defence was seized upon by Arter, who had the simple task of stroking the ball past the exposed Henderson. Yoni Buyens was the Charlton man at fault for the misplaced pass.
The Addicks recovered and almost pulled one back when Tony Watt’s ball across the six-yard box almost found the on-rushing Igor Vetokele at the back post.
The visitors’ reply was a move that almost made it 3-0, however, as the lively Wilson eluded challengers to get himself in a shooting position but Roger Johnson did just enough to block at the expense of a corner.
Seconds later Johnson had to do the same again as Wilson pulled the trigger, with a corner also the result. Bournemouth were oozing confidence and defender Simon Francis was only just off target from range.
Charlton managed to get to half-time without further mishap and looked more organised in the second period, with Diarra heading a decent chance over the bar.
Bournemouth’s reply, once again, saw them almost increase their lead. Ritchie’s flick left Morgan Fox trailing and the shot that followed hit another defender, looped over the goalkeeper and bounced off the bar.
The away side continued to buzz in and around the Charlton box and one move down the left saw Charlie Daniels fire across goal and just wide following a flurry of substitutions from both sides.
It did not pay off for Charlton, who had to play the final 15 minutes a man down when Tony Watt hobbled off. Ritchie made them pay with the third goal five minutes from time, finding the bottom corner in style after his initial effort had been blocked.