With both teams riding high on the back of midweek Capital One Cup success, there was plenty of goalmouth action but few clear-cut chances in an enthralling first half.
Lee Holmes warmed the palms of Rotherham goalkeeper Scott Shearer after nine minutes and Holmes again soon tested the stopper with a shot he could only parry. In between, Kari Arnason had headed a Ben Pringle free-kick into the side-netting for Rotherham - who drew 3-3 at Crewe on the opening day - and Craig Morgan narrowly failed to get his head to Michael O'Connor's great free-kick.
The best chance fell to home debutant Matt Tubbs after 27 minutes when he robbed David Buchanan on the edge of the penalty area, only to fire his shot wide of the upright.
Preston - on the back of a goalless opening-day draw with Wolves - almost broke the deadlock nine minutes after the restart when Bailey Wright headed Holmes' corner against a post, while at the other end Rotherham went close as Alex Revell headed just wide.
Rotherham went even closer after 81 minutes when substitute David Worrall was inches wide with a shot from the edge of the area, and the home side knew it was not their day when O'Connor fired over with three minutes remaining.