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 Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX). The copper and gold miner declared a quarterly dividend of $0.3125, 25% higher than its previous disbursement. Freeport-McMoRan now generates a reasonable 3.3% yield.

Ennis (NYSE: EBF) is also not a menace when it comes to cutting quarterly distribution checks. The maker of business forms, apparel, and other business products is moving its quarterly payouts to $0.175 a share. The 13% bump comes despite the margin pressure that its apparel business is facing.

Oxford Industries (NYSE: OXM) also buttoned up its yield. The company behind the tropically timeless Tommy Bahama shirts increased its dividend after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. Oxford investors will now be receiving $0.15 a share every three months, 15% more than they were previously receiving.

Finally, we have American Express (NYSE: AXP) charging ahead. The financial services giant is moving its quarterly rate 11% higher to $0.20 a share. It's the first time that American Express has increased its yield since 2007. It's also returning money to shareholders through a buyback of 150 million shares.

Checks and balances
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.

If you want to track these stocks to see if and when they hike their payouts again, consider adding them to My Watchlist.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.