Dividend checks continue to get fatter in corporate America, as more companies jack up their distribution rates.

Readers of the Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.

Let's start with Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX)The downstream energy specialist is gushing. Phillips 66 will now be shelling out $0.3125 a share to its investors every three months, and that's a 25% improvement over its earlier rate.

What can "Brown" do for you? Green! UPS (NYSE:UPS) is pushing its quarterly payouts 9% higher to $0.62 a share. UPS has tripled its dividend rate since 2000, but it's not the only way that the parcel delivery giant is returning money to its stakeholders. UPS also reauthorized the company's $10 billion share repurchase program.

Apache (NYSE:APA) is another company fueling fatter disbursements. The oil and gas explorer is boosting its quarterly dividends 18% to $0.20 a share.

NorthStar Realty Finance (NYSE:NRF) is also loosening its grip on its purse strings. The commercial real estate REIT's quarterly rate is moving 6% higher to $0.18 a share. It probably wasn't a surprise when NorthStar came through with blowout quarterly results a day later.

Then again, even the hike was expected. Northstar has been declaring higher dividends every quarter for the past six quarters.

Subscribers to the Income Investor newsletter can appreciate the companies sending more and more money to their investors. The newsletter singles out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.

Want to see what is being recommended these days? Go ahead and give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing that will get hiked will be your interest. 

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends United Parcel Service. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apache. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.