Have you tried Windoze Explorer?
Meantime, before you get too deeply into the process, make sure that the files on that SD card are true AVCHD and not AVCHD Lite or a proprietary MP4 format (like the Flip camera uses).
If this is something other than a pure, standard AVCHD, you're going to have trouble working with it in Premiere Elements (and a number of other editing programs too).
I would strongly advise against re-formatting the card outside of either the mfgr-supplied software, or the camera. Most cameras have a re-format function and some are specialized for that particular camera. Use it to do the prep of any card and you will have the ultimate results, plus the card will likely function properly, longer.
I do exactly as you do. I Copy (not Move), as I really do not want any non-mfgr utility touching the file system of my cards. All re-formatting, etc. are done in-camera. It only takes seconds, and is good insurance on workability.