Harry Davis’ 16th-minute penalty put Crewe in the driving seat but Lewis Grabban ensured the spoils were shared at the Don Valley Stadium.
A terrible clearance by goalkeeper Rhys Taylor went straight to Byron Moore and as he raced into the penalty area he was hacked down from behind by Jason Taylor and Davis made no mistake from the spot.
Rotherham should have levelled when an attempted clearance in a goalmouth scramble cannoned straight to leading marksman Grabban, but Steve Phillips was off his line in a flash to block the shot.
Phillips was beaten minutes later by Danny Harrison’s header from a left-wing corner, but Ashley Westwood cleared off the line.
Rotherham finally got the equaliser after 63 minutes. Ben Pringle’s high floating cross was allowed to bounce inside the six-yard box and Grabban nipped in to poke home his 16th of the season.