Both sides mustered numerous chances in an entertaining start to proceedings but then experienced a niggly period midway through the first half.
Stoke levelled just two minutes later, however, thanks to Erik Pieters's dipping half-volley into the top corner from the left-hand side of the Preston area.
Peter Crouch's introduction just before the hour yielded an almost instant impact, the veteran striker nodding home from close range after Allen's pinpoint free kick delivery from the left.
Preston desperately sought to find a late winner and were pumping balls into the box deep into injury time, but Stoke managed to hold on for a point.
PRESTON NORTH END (4-2-3-1): Rudd; Fisher, Clarke, Davies, Hughes; Pearson, Gallagher (Ledson 83'); Burke (Barkhuizen 67'), Browne, Robinson; Nmecha (Moult 66')
STOKE CITY (4-4-2): Butland; Edwards, Williams, Shawcross, Pieters; Ince, Allen, Fletcher, McClean (Diouf 59'); Berahino (Crouch 59'), Afobe (Etebo 84')