The Bluebirds appeared to be heading to a third successive league defeat when Andy Cole added to Graham Alexander’s hotly-disputed first-half opener at Turf Moor on Saturday.
But Joe Ledley struck from the penalty spot just before the hour and teenager Aaron Ramsey hauled the sides level before Clarke Carlisle headed what looked like the winner for the hosts four minutes from time.
The recalled Steven Thompson, however, held his nerve to net an 89th-minute equaliser in a dramatic finish which also saw Cardiff’s Darren Purse sent off right at the death.
Purse tangled with Cole and referee Andy Hall had little option but to give the defender his marching orders.
Burnley are 11th, Cardiff 13th.