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 these past few days.

We can start with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT).

The world's largest software company increased its quarterly disbursements 15% to $0.23 a share. Fellow Fool Evan Niu points out that this is Microsoft's smallest percentage increase in a couple of years, but there's no denying that Mr. Softy has been trying to please patient long-term investors by returning money their way. The stock is now yielding a respectable 2.9%.

It won't be long before McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) shareholders can trade their quarterly distributions for Dollar Menu options. The world's largest restaurant operator is serving up a 10% uptick in its rate. Investors will now be receiving $0.77 a share every three months. Mickey D's has come through with annual hikes every year since it initiated its payout policy in 1976.

Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) knows that everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes its new yield. The semiconductor giant is electrifying its quarterly dividends by 24% to $0.21 a share. Texas Instruments has now increased its rate for nine consecutive years.

Finally, we have Ingredion (Nasdaq: INGR) sweetening its dividend. The maker of nature-based sweeteners, starches, and nutrition ingredients is boosting its quarterly rate a healthy 30% to $0.26 a share.

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. A 30-day trial subscription will let you see if it's right for you.

The Dow is another place where yield chasers come for meaty payouts, but you don't want to buy all 30 stocks that make up the index. A new report singles out the three Dow companies that dividend investors need to own. It's a free report, so click here to check it out now.