I'm gonna be living in Malawi starting in July. So i could really use some help with this big change. I basically need to figure out the best way to build a balance on the right airlines that fly to and from Malawi back to the States. I did a little research and it seems the best airlines that flies into Malawi that also have larger alliances are Kenyan Airways for skyteam or South african Airways for star alliance. I don't have miles with either alliance but I have a ton with one world and with AMEX and starwood that I can transfer. I figure, once i get out of Malawi, I can use oneworld miles to get to the states. So, I basically need to build big balances on an airline with Skyteam and Star Alliance as quickly as possible but I'm not sure the best way to do it. I'm assuming the two biggest factors are how easy it is to get the miles quickly and how cheap it is to redeem them. So for example, I could apply for a united or continental credit cards to quickly build miles on that airline for star alliance but if their redemption rate on South African Airways is much worse than say Air Canada, I should be looking at building a balance with Air canada instead right? So my questions are basically: 1) Does anyone know the airline that has the best award redemption rates on Kenyan or South African airways in their respective alliances? 2) Is there an airline I am missing that I should look at? 3) Any other advice that could help with travel to and from Malawi over the next year? 4) Are there other things to keep in mind or to note (e.g. Delta is a skyteam partner and has a 40% bonus from Amex MR points transfer, etc.)? Any help is much appreciated.